The first Maze Runner movie is especially faithful to the source material. There are differences here and there like the absence of the beetle blades and the omission of Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and Teresa’s (Kaya Scodelario) telepathy, but for the most part, the movie hits all the same story beats as James Dashner’s book. However, that’s definitely not the case with Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
In the sequel, the surviving Gladers are out of the confines of the Maze and head into what’s left of the real world. It’s a significantly bigger story with more locations, characters and a far more robust view of Wicked’s agenda. It isn’t surprising that director Wes Ball and writer T.S. Nowlin opted to pare things down, but what I didn’t see coming was how much creative license they’d take when painting the big picture.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for both The Scorch Trials the book and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials the movie.
We knew we were getting less Gladers in the sequel because so few made it out of the Maze in the first movie. There’s Thomas, Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores), Teresa and Jack (Bryce Romero). Jack is basically the equivalent of a prop because it looks as though his death scene never made it into the final cut. Check out the trailer at the 1:45 mark. I’m not sure if that’s Jack that gets knocked over the edge after some Cranks come crashing through the glass, but that’s definitely him hanging on for dear life in the subsequent shot. On top of that, if you caught one of the first images ever released from The Scorch Trials, there’s another Glader who never made it into the final film at all. The tasty meal scene is nowhere to be found and neither is that guy standing behind Teresa on the far left either.
There’s more than enough going on in The Scorch Trials, so it was a smart move to keep the focus on fewer Gladers. Yes, I would have liked to see what happened to Jack simply because the scene plays so well in the promos, but by cutting out his big moment, Winston’s demise becomes far more meaningful.