Good news, Maze Runner fans. The indefinite hiatus on The Death Cure, the third installment in the YA saga, has come to an end. Earlier this year, production on the film was halted when star Dylan O’Brien suffered a significant on-set injury and the future of the franchise was left in question, with the actor needing time to heal and the studio needing time to sort out the new schedule. Now, Deadline reports that The Death Cure will move back into production in February 2017 — right about when the film was originally scheduled to land in theaters.
Back in March, when O’Brien suffered a concussion and facial fracture on the Vancouver set, filming was initially slated to pick up on May 9th, but after his injuries were found to be more severe than they first seemed, Fox put The Death Cure on an indefinite hold and rescheduled the release date from February 17, 2017, to January 12, 2018.
While O’Brien needed time to mend, it seems working out a new schedule was also a significant factor in the delay as the cast and crew were released following the second postponement. But now, those scheduling issues have been sorted and production will resume early next year in a new location. The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials director Wes Ball remains on board to helm the latest installment in the franchise, which also stars Kaya Scodelario, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Dexter Darden. As with the previous films, the screenplay comes from T.S. Nowlin who is adapting from James Dashner‘s series of novels.
It will be interesting to see how The Death Cure fares when it finally arrives in theaters. The franchise kicked off when the YA genre was a dominant force in pop culture thanks to the rampant success of Twilight and The Hunger Games, but the genre’s influence has waned significantly in the years since. The Divergent saga has faced a rough road thanks to that declining interest, with recent YA additions The Fifth Wave and The BFG underperforming. By 2018, The Death Cure maybe something of a rarity in the entertainment landscape, but The Maze Runner fans are a pretty dedicated bunch, so I’m very intrigued to see how the movie is ultimately received.
Regardless of the business side, here’s hoping O’Brien is well on his way to recovery and makes a full return when The Death Cure roles into production next year.