Catherine Hardwicke is ready to delve back into young adult territory. IndieWire has the scoop that the "Twilight" director is in negotiations to helm an upcoming adaptation of James Dashner's dystopian "The Maze Runner," which follows a young man named Thomas who finds himself trapped in an enclosed area called "the glade" with no memory but his name. Sounds to us kind of like a version of "The Hunger Games" with more mystery and a male lead, which we have absolutely no problem with.
The third and final installment of "The Maze Runner" series will be hitting shelves next year, so this seems like the perfect time to start investing interest in a film series. Also, now that "The Hunger Games" is set to be the Next Big Thing, a film series with a similar slant should spell out box office gold in Hollywood.
And with "Red Riding Hood"'s trailer being impressive but unfortunately compared to "Twilight," we're glad Catherine is stepping far away from the teen romance genre while still sticking with YA fantasy. From what we can tell, skeptics will be hard pressed to compare "The Maze Runner" to "Twilight" (as we already pointed out, comparison to "The Hunger Games" is more appropriate) but, well, you never know.
Here's a more in-depth synopsis of "The Maze Runner" that we snagged from IndieWire:
Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers.
See, we aren't crazy with the "Hunger Games" comparisons! However, it seems like "The Maze Runner" could go in any number of different directions with that open-ended plot. Fortunately, James Dashner will be penning the screenplay as well, so we know that he'll be able to do the novel justice. Well, hopefully.