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.
James 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.
I 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!