BUSTLE – Minutes into meeting Dylan O’Brien, he lets me in on a secret: Growing up, he was a massive American Idol fan. We’re outside his Bustle photo shoot where he’s bumping Remi Wolf, the soul-pop artist who briefly appeared as a contestant on the show’s 13th season. But O’Brien notes he also rides for the series’ OGs like Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson. “I’m obsessed with people,” O’Brien says of his enthusiasm for reality TV. “How are you not obsessed with people?”
The revelation is peak O’Brien — a little embarrassing, totally earnest, and altogether endearing —and the rest of the 30-year-old’s time on set is littered with more of these interactions. When an intern sneezes, he compliments her on how “cute” it sounds. After introducing himself to the production coordinator, he marvels that she shares a name with his sister Julia. Once the aforementioned intern lets it slip that he was her childhood crush, he thanks her and compliments her Balenciaga trainers. Disarmament is the former Teen Wolf star’s superpower. But at what cost?
“I really care about making people feel comfortable, sometimes to a fault,” he admits when we decamp to a hotel bar nearby. Once we’re seated, a fan approaches him to record a message for a friend back in Colombia. Naturally, O’Brien obliges. “I think it’s something that I owe myself to embrace, because it’s a good quality, for the most part,” he says. “It’s very important to me that the entire team on every job just feels [good]. I always say I’m not really an actor, but what I bring to the table is a good time.”
His friends and collaborators agree. When co-star Zoey Deutch found herself living in the same London apartment block as O’Brien while filming their new movie, The Outfit, the pandemic was still raging. Days on set were heavy, with O’Brien playing the heir apparent to a vicious cadre of gangsters who operate out of the shop of a Chicago tailor, played by Oscar-winner Mark Rylance. When the pair got home, they would bliss out by watching more reality TV. “He just loves sh*tty TV so much,” Deutch says. For much of the trip, O’Brien was in the throes of rewatching Vanderpump Rules — he calls the show “my Godfather,” when I ask him about it later — while Deutch was “deeply involved” with Love Island U.K., of which O’Brien is also a fan. “It’s such a great quality of his, and so out of character because he’s so smart, intellectual, and interesting,” Deutch adds, Though for the record, the ever-earnest O’Brien thinks the idea that reality TV isn’t intelligent is “insane.”
Being a preternaturally affable, good-vibes-only kind of guy was a survival skill O’Brien picked up as an adolescent, when his family moved from New Jersey to California when he was 12. “[It was] the worst thing to happen to me as a kid,” O’Brien recalls of trying to make friends in a new middle school. He found a salve in YouTube, sharing 14 videos between 2007 and 2009. (His account, moviekidd826, is still live, and it features comedy skits and videos of O’Brien lip-syncing to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.”) He signed with manager Liz York, whom he still works with today, off the videos alone, and in 2010, he landed the role of Stiles Stilinski on MTV’s series Teen Wolf. Overnight fame followed. “All of a sudden girls were coming up to me in places, wanting to take pictures,” he says. “It was very scary.”
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Another new project for Dylan titled “Not Okay“!
VARIETY – Dylan O’Brien has joined the cast of the upcoming feature satire “Not Okay.”
Star of “The Maze Runner” and “Love and Monsters,” O’Brien joins previously-announced leading lady Zoey Deutch in the project from writer-director Quinn Shephard. Brad Weston and Negin Salmasi’s Makeready are producing the film, which will premiere exclusively on Disney’s DTC platforms (Hulu in the U.S., and globally on Star).
With shooting already underway in New York City, “Not Okay” follows a misguided young woman desperate for friends and fame, who fakes a trip to Paris to up her social media presence. When a terrifying incident takes place in the real world and becomes part of her imaginary trip, her white lie becomes a moral quandary that offers her all the attention she’s wanted.
Rounding out the ensemble cast is Mia Isaac (Amazon’s upcoming “Don’t Make Me Go” opposite John Cho), Embeth Davidtz (“Old”) and Nadia Alexander (“Seven Seconds,” “Servant”). Actors Tia Dionne Hodge (“The Land of Steady Habits”), Negin Farsad (“High Maintenance”), Karan Soni (“Deadpool”) and newcomer Dash Perry will also star.
O’Brien rose to fame and social media ubiquity as the lead of “Maze Runner” franchise, from the former 20th Century Fox. His recent “Love and Monsters” was a sweet and irreverent take on the apocalypse movie. In June, he starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in Antoine Fuqua’s “Infinite” for Paramount Plus. He is repped by WME, Principal Entertainment and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.
Awesome news! Dylan has been cast in a new movie titled “The Outfit.”
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: In a hot under-the-radar package, we can reveal that Oscar-winner Mark Rylance (The Trial Of The Chicago 7), Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien, Set It Up star Zoey Deutch and The Dig actor Johnny Flynn are set to star in Oscar-winning writer Graham Moore’s (The Imitation Game) directorial debut The Outfit.
Focus Features has struck a deal to pre-buy world rights to the crime-drama from FilmNation Entertainment with shoot set to begin in March in London.
The film follows Leonard (Rylance), an English tailor who used to craft suits on London’s world-famous Savile Row. But after a personal tragedy, he’s ended up in Chicago, operating a small tailor shop in a rough part of town where he makes beautiful clothes for the only people around who can afford them: a family of vicious gangsters.
Moore will direct from his own screenplay which is co-written with actor-writer Johnathan McClain (Mad Men). Producers are Scoop Wasserstein, Ben Browning and Amy Jackson. FilmNation is financing; CAA Media Finance co-repped the U.S. sale.
Oscar-nominee Dick Pope (Mr. Turner) will serve as director of photography. Oscar-nominee Gemma Jackson (Aladdin) will serve as production designer. Oscar-winner William Goldenberg (Argo) will serve as editor. Zac Posen and Sophie O’Neill will serve as costume designers.
FilmNation and Focus are re-teaming following their recent partnership on multi-Golden Globe nominee Promising Young Woman.
“A truly great film starts with fantastic writing, and we’re thrilled to have Graham’s talent drive this film to its full potential as a highly entertaining crime drama,” said FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner. “We couldn’t think of a better home for this film than with the talented and likeminded team at Focus and can’t wait to gear up for yet another production during a time when our industry needs great films more than ever.”
Focus Features’ chairman Peter Kujawski commented: “Like so many, we were blown away by Graham’s award-winning work in The Imitation Game and are thrilled to take part in his directorial debut. His storytelling talents seem limitless, and the caliber of artists he’s sewn together both behind and in front of the camera for The Outfit will undoubtedly bring this thriller to life in an exciting way. We are looking forward to joining our friends at FilmNation in this endeavor.”
Added Moore: “If you’d told me years ago, when Johnathan and I were first dreaming up this story, that I’d get to direct my first film with a cast as exquisitely talented as Mark, Zoey, Dylan and Johnny, I’d have said you were nuts. And honestly, if you’d said that back then, you might have been. This film is such a deep labor of love for me and our whole team, and I could not ask for better partners than our friends at FilmNation and Focus.”
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien is in final negotiations to topline Monster Problems, a post-apocalyptic love story from Paramount Players.
Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is producing the feature project, which rising South African director Michael Matthews recently boarded. Matthews is the filmmaker behind the neo-Western Five Fingers for Marseilles.
The project is described as being a Zombieland road pic crossed with the stylings of a John Hughes teen movie, telling the story of a guy who has to survive a monsterpocalypse in order to be with the girl of his dreams.
O’Brien starred in the trio of Maze Runner films, Fox’s adaptation of the post-apocalyptic YA novels. The actor also starred on MTV’s Teen Wolf series and last year starred in the gritty American Assassin thriller. He is repped by WME, Principal Entertainment and Lichter Grossman.
Matthews is repped by WME.
VARIETY – Dylan O’Brien, whose credits include “The Maze Runner,” “American Assassin” and “Deepwater Horizon,” and Maika Monroe, who appeared in “It Follows,” “I’m Not Here,” “The Guest” and “The Bling Ring,” will star in Christopher MacBride’s “The Education of Fredrick Fitzell.”
Protagonist Pictures will handle international sales and launch the film to buyers in Cannes, with ICM Partners and Endeavor Content handling North America.
The film is written by and will be directed by MacBride, whose last film was the critically acclaimed found-footage thriller “The Conspiracy.” Lee Kim (“Operation Avalanche,” “I’ll Follow You Down,” “The Conspiracy,” “Small Town Murder Songs”) will produce for Resolute Films. Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder of Addictive Pictures are executive producing.
“Fred (O’Brien) is not a detective, a secret agent or a philosopher,” according to a statement. “He’s a normal guy approaching 30 and going through an existential crisis as he finds himself on the precipice of full-blown adulthood.”
It adds: “After a chance encounter with a man forgotten from his youth, Fred literally and metaphorically journeys into his past. He slowly begins to unravel a long hidden mystery about a missing girl, a drug called Mercury, and a terrifying creature that has now followed him into adulthood… As past, present and future begin to intersect and parallel each other, Fred explores all the possible lives he could lead. Which one will he choose?”
“The script is unlike anything I’ve read,” says Kim, who re-unites with MacBride, having worked together on “The Conspiracy.” “Chris has crafted a unique, brilliant story – one that transcends genre and provides a surreal snapshot of a man on the brink of collapse.”
O’Brien was last seen in the final instalment of the “Maze Runner” trilogy – which to date has grossed just shy of a billion dollars worldwide, and Monroe was most recently seen alongside Timothée Chalamet in “Hot Summer Nights,” which premiered at SXSW.
“The Education of Fredrick Fitzell” will start shooting in summer 2018.
LA TIMES – For the past year, Dylan O’Brien has been in hiding. He spent most of his time inside his home in Sherman Oaks, wondering if he’d ever be the same person he was before the accident. Not just emotionally, but physically too: After major reconstructive surgery that left him with four metal plates holding one side of his face together, he feared he’d never look the same again.
“It’s a miracle, what they’ve done,” O’Brien says, placing his hand on his cheek. Indeed, the actor’s team of doctors must have done some incredible work, given the fact that he looks almost exactly as he always has — the boyish teen heartthrob who has amassed an army of young female fans since he began working on MTV’s “Teen Wolf” at age 18.
Of course, he’s 26 now, so he’s filled out a bit, and there’s also a hint of patchy scruff on his face. He had enough gravitas to him that the producers of “American Assassin,” which opens nationwide Friday, felt confident casting him as the grizzled action-hero Mitch Rapp — even though the character in Vince Flynn’s bestselling books was widely believed by readers to be in his 40s.
“American Assassin” is the reason O’Brien emerged from his self-imposed exile. He’d signed onto the film just a few weeks before he began work on “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” the third and final installment in 20th Century Fox’s post-apocalyptic young-adult franchise. He was hoping “Assassin” would mark the beginning of a new period in his career. In 2017, after six seasons, “Teen Wolf” would come to an end, as would the “Maze Runner” series.
“I’ve never looked at myself as this pop candy type,” O’Brien says, peppering his speech with more colorful language. “I felt like I was more real than that, so I would get mad when someone would say [I was a teen heartthrob]. I’d be like, ‘I’m 19! I’m a stoner!’ I really resented that.”
He was so excited to begin work on “Assassin” that he fielded calls from director Michael Cuesta just as production began in Vancouver, Canada, on the final “Maze Runner” film. Together, they discussed how O’Brien would approach the character, a 23-year-old who is recruited by the CIA to hunt down terrorists after he witnesses his girlfriend’s murder at the hands of Muslim radicals.
USA TODAY – LOS ANGELES — Dylan O’Brien knew there would be online turbulence when he was cast as black ops killer Mitch Rapp in American Assassin.
O’Brien, 26, understands that fans of Vince Flynn’s best-selling novels might not visualize the star of MTV’s Teen Wolf as the guy to take on the lethal hitman, a part that Thor’s Chris Hemsworth turned down for scheduling reasons.
“Maybe people didn’t assume I could step into this role and be believable,” says O’Brien. “All’s fair in filmmaking, but no one knows you like yourself.”
He knew he could defy those expectations, unleashing an angry young killer-in-training in the edgy origin story American Assassin (in theaters Friday), a portrayal fueled by O’Brien’s emotional return from an injury last year on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure that nearly ended his career.
He was cast in Assassin while holed up in his L.A. home, feeling angry and depressed as he recovered from a serious head injury suffered when he was thrown from the harness of a moving vehicle during a stunt.
“There’s the physical recovery. And you’re going through a post-traumatic psychological recovery as well,” O’Brien says. “Your mind is so consumed with doubt, you’re just beaten down. And you feel guilt in a really weird way.”
Not only was Maze Runner filming postponed because of the accident (the movie will be out in January), but he had doubts whether he could take on any parts, much less an action role.
“You start experiencing things that are abnormal, you’re just not yourself. What you don’t realize is that you’re reacting to a situation where your brain experienced severe trauma,” says O’Brien. “You’re irritable and isolated and you’re angry. So angry. Because that can give you some power back.”
He realized he could fuel those feelings into the character, who loses his fiancée in a terrorist attack, a trauma that consumes Rapp with a desire for revenge as he trains with a black ops specialist (Michael Keaton).
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Dylan O’Brien is in negotiations with CBS Films to play Mitch Rapp in American Assassin, the adaptation of the Vince Flynn bestselling novel series that Michael Cuesta will direct for CBS Films and Lionsgate. O’Brien will play the title character, who ruthlessly carries out covert counter-terrorist operations for the CIA in the book series. A deal is expected to make shortly, ending a long search for what is expected to be a star making role. He would star alongside Michael Keaton, who signed on earlier to play Stan Hurley, a badass Cold War veteran who teaches the young assassin everything he needs to know. Stephen Schiff adapted the novel and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler are producing. CBS Films and Lionsgate are co-financing; CBS Films is overseeing the production and marketing while Lionsgate will release what is hoped to be the start of a series. Production begins this summer.
Lionsgate will be selling foreign on the film, and having O’Brien in the fold will surely help. It also means he’s recovering from his injuries incurred during the shooting of Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which had to be postponed to give him time.
The series will begin as Rapp is a black ops recruit who’s devastated by the loss of his fiancee to a terrorist attack. The CIA deputy director assigns the shadowy Hurley to train a grief-stricken but highly motivated Rapp how to thwart terrorist operations and hunt the perpetrators. As Rapp’s training progresses, the pair is dispatched on a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative from starting World War III in the Middle East. Rapp appears in 14 bestselling novels written by Flynn, who died in 2013. This has long been thought of as fertile ground for an action franchise, but it has taken forever to crystallize.
O’Brien is best known for The Maze Runner, and he’s part of the cast of the upcoming Deepwater Horizon, which is being made by Summit so clearly they got a good look at the young actor’s potential. WME and Principal Entertainment rep him.
THR.COM – The project was once to have been a vehicle for Emma Stone.
Little White Corvette is the little engine that could.
The action comedy that was once set up at two different studios and was to have been a starring vehicle for Emma Stone has now been picked up by Twentieth Century Fox.
Dylan O’Brien, the star of Fox’s Maze Runner franchise, is attached to star in Corvette while Iain Morris, who co-created the British comedy The Inbetweeners, is in talks to direct.
The script by Michael Diliberti centers on a dysfunctional pair of siblings, a nerdy brother and a wild older sister, who find a stash of cocaine in their late father’s 1977 Corvette Stingray. They hope to make their problems disappear by scoring a million dollar deal in Miami but their road trip goes south when they are pursued by not only the police but a mysterious man in a Dodge Demon.
O’Brien would play the brother. The sister has not been cast.
Graham King of GK Films is producing. Emma Watts and Jason Young are overseeing for the studio.
Corvette first hit the pavement at MRC and then in 2012 GK Films acquired the script in a seven-figure deal with Stone attached. It was last being parked at Columbia.
O’Brien, repped by WME and Gotham/Principal, is also the star of MTV’s Teen Wolf and will be seen with Mark Wahlberg in Lionsgate’s Deepwater Horizon.
Morris is repped by UTA.
BUZZFEED.COM – Being a part of one of the biggest blockbusters of the year might be stressful for some, but luckily the cast of The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is basically one big family. Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Dexter Darden all stopped by BuzzFeed LA to give us the lowdown on who’s the cast’s relationship expert, the selfie queen, and who actually is the best runner.
1. Who is most likely to be found at craft services?
Dexter Darden and Kaya Scodelario: Thomas.
Dexter: Without a doubt.
Ki Hong Lee: Seriously? I was going to say Dext!
Dexter: Me? No, craft services is Thomas for sure. You’ll find me at catering.
Kaya: They kept losing [Thomas] and he’d be standing [at craft services] drinking tea.
2. Who is most likely to be caught napping in between scenes?
Kaya: Me, I nap! I can curl in a ball and sleep.
Dylan O’Brien: It’s amazing.