Exclusive Comic-Con Interview with THE MAZE RUNNER Author James Dashner


James Dashner was at Comic-Con this year for his 2nd venture into the crazy convention.  I was able to snag a few minutes with him to talk about The Maze Runner movie and a little bit about the main character in his upcoming book, The Eye of Minds.

I attended the Maze Runner Conversation for a Cause even at the Nerd HQ the day before, so I was fortunate enough to be one of the 250 people that were there to see the raw footage of the movie, as well as ask Dylan O’Brien the first question during the panel.

The Maze Runner at NerdHQ 2013James did note before we got started on the interviewing part, that he actually had more questions directed to him than to Dylan (His agent told him that most questions would probably be fielded to the Teen Wolf star.  But this was a Maze Runner panel, after all).

What I’ve found about James is that he’s just an all around amazing (fan)guy, with a fondness for movies and the word “amazing”, and he’s probably one of my favorite authors to have ever chatted with.

In regards to the raw footage that was shown during the panel, he apparently was just as floored as I was, and probably everyone else, too.

Oh man! I saw about half of what you guys saw about a week before you did, so half- this is a terrible way to put this… it’s like the thing Bilbo says in Lord of the Rings- half of what you saw, I was seeing for the first time.

[Don’t worry, I got what he meant.]

So, sitting up there, I don’t know if people could tell, but I got emotional.  I was fighting back tears.  The fact that it was so raw, it’s literally just the initial filming – there’s no special effects whatsoever yet, except they did add the wall to that one scene.  I just- it’s just blowing me away.  I cannot believe how much they’ve captured my vision.

So, was it as you expected or more than you expected as far as how it look?  Because to me it was more than what I had imagined.

That’s an interesting way to put it, because it is more than I imagined, which, this sounds dumb, but I mean that is obviously a good thing.  It’s almost like, I get this feeling that the movie is going to be better than the book.  (we both laugh at the prospect)  I’m so thrilled with it, it’s like his vision for this movie is just incredible.

I, like you, was flipping out over the raw footage of The Maze Runner.  I seriously almost cried.  I don’t cry during trailers, as much as I love the books, but something about the way that the actors portrayed the characters, there was not a lot of dialogue in that footage, but what you saw was the emotion.

You just nailed what struck me.  I have yet to see, on film, a word of dialogue because they haven’t done sound editing yet.  Everything has just been footage with music added, which is amazing because I have seen more emotion and acting and feeling and all that without any dialogue.  I can’t imagine when they add the dialogue.  I have a really strong feeling that this movie is going to be special.

Being that James had only visited the set twice and had only spent a day and a half there during actual filming, it probably wasn’t fair to ask for his opinion of the actors’ performances, but he did note a couple of people that stuck out for him while he was there, and what stuck out to him in general.

Well, first of all, it blew me away on two different fronts.  I love movies, as anyone knows who follows me, so just to be on a movie set and see them actually filming scenes – by itself, was just special.  Like, crazy amazing for me.  And then you throw in this little thing that it’s my book, it’s like a double whammy.  I almost couldn’t handle it.

tmr-gally-character-chat-croppedI was really struck by Will Poulter [Gally], mainly because he’s the one that I saw do more of an individual thing, and it was pretty brief, but it was amazing.  And then the majority of what I saw was actually Patricia Clarkson, the Oscar nominee who’s playing Ava Paige.  I cannot overstate how lucky we were to get her into the movie, so her appearance in the first movie will be pretty brief, but absolutely spectacular.  She really adds a lot, and seeing her film her scenes was… amazing.  How many times have I used the word ‘amazing’?  I need to think of another one.

I suggested various comparable adjectives, which we chuckled over and to which he’d said he’d use in the future.

Read more on the interview after the jump!

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Director Wes Ball Talks THE MAZE RUNNER with Collider

Collider sat down with The Maze Runner director, Wes Ball, at San Diego Comic-Con where he talks about adapting the book, filming on location, and more!  Click the image below for interview.

wes ball



THE MAZE RUNNER Conversation for a Cause Photos at Nerd HQ

There were several events that I could’ve attended on the first full day of Comic-Con, some of fandoms that we cover, but unfortunately, since many of the events that I wanted to attend happened to take place at the same time, I had to choose one, thus I chose to go to an off-site event at Nerd HQ.

The Maze Runner at NerdHQ 2013

(l. to r.) Author James Dashner, executive producer Wyck Godfrey, Dylan O’Brien, and director Wes Ball

20th Century Fox didn’t include The Maze Runner into their lineup at the Convention Center, so it was such a wonderful thing that the people at Nerd HQ were able to gather some kind of presence for this movie.  Luckily, Dylan O’Brien, the lead actor in the movie, was already going to be at Comic-Con for another panel (Teen Wolf), and author James Dashner was set to attend as well, it was probably easy enough to get director Wes Ball and executive producer Wyck Godfrey to join in (however, I should note that I really don’t know if it was as easy as I say it is to get them to come as they could be very busy with other projects or just post-production of the movie as filming just wrapped up.)

The Maze Runner at NerdHQ 2013

Dylan O’Brien seemed very comfortable as being the only actor of the panel as many were there to see him, however, James did field most of the questions.  The highlight, of course, was that the 250 of us that paid to get into the panel were extremely fortunate enough to catch the raw footage of the movie!  They even explained to us that not even the studio execs have seen this footage and that Wes had spent the days driving from Baton Rouge, LA to San Diego, CA editing this footage to make it presentable to us.

The Maze Runner at NerdHQ 2013

I cannot say enough good things about this footage.  Out of everything that I’ve seen at Comic-Con, in regards to footage and clips and trailers, The Maze Runner exceeded them all, and that is truly saying something, especially when this wasn’t even an official part of Comic-Con.  Hardly any dialogue was used in the footage, but the emotion in the characters’ faces, the intensity of the scenes, and the imagery that was shown were all beyond my expectation.  I am extremely excited to see more and more of this movie as we get closer to the release date of February 14, 2014.


You can check out the livestream video of the conversation here, and yes, I’m the one who asks the first question.

For more pictures from the Maze Runner panel, check them out on my Flickr.

Video: Conversation for a Cause With THE MAZE RUNNER Cast and Creators at SDCC

If you missed the The Nerd Machine’s “Conversation for a Cause” panel with the the cast and creators of The Maze Runner–James Dashner, Wyck Godfrey, Wes Ball, and Dylan O’Brien– you can watch it right here, right now.  Pay close attention to the 16:22 mark where The Fandom‘s very own Natasha asks the first question at the event!

James Dashner Signing Limited Edition The Eye Of Minds Posters at Comic-Con

This Friday, James Dashner will be at the DC Comic booth to sign limited edition The Eye of Minds posters.



Pretty awesome poster, right?! Here’s a little background on it from MTV:

Random House teamed up with DC Comics to have artist John Van Fleet create an original illustration of the cover of “The Eye of the Minds.” Dashner and the Van Fleet will be signing a limited number of prints of this very cool poster at the DC Comics booth on Friday, July 19.

In addition to this, a new teaser for the book was just revealed!  To watch, visit MTV Geek.