Fans will have to wait much longer for the third installment in the Maze Runner franchise. Per Variety, the release date for Maze Runner: The Death Cure has been pushed nearly a year to January 12, 2018. The film was originally slated for release on February 17, 2017, but star Dylan O’Brien suffered serious injuries during an on-set accident in March, which shut production down. Filming was intended to resume this month, but O’Brien’s injuries proved to be more serious than originally expected, and in late April Fox announced that it was shutting down Maze Runner: The Death Cure production for even longer, with no date set for when filming might resume.
Given this release date news, it sounds like production may not get back underway for some time. Or it’s simply possible that the Q1 window is where Fox really wants The Death Cure to land, and if they can’t hit that date in 2017, they’ll wait until 2018. Regardless, this is gonna make for a very long wait for fans, although the health and well-being of O’Brien is obviously much more important than rushing this movie into theaters.
Wes Ball returns to direct the third installment, which finds O’Brien’s protagonist on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “flare.” There’s currently only one other film slated for release on that January weekend in 2018, Paramount’s animated Sherlock Gnomes, but the January date seems odd to me for such a big film—I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox changes it again somewhere down the line.
For now, folks should sit tight knowing it’s gonna be a bit before the Maze Runner franchise gets wrapped up. As for O’Brien, he seems to be on the road to recovery as he recently entered talks to lead the potential franchise-starter American Assassin, based on the Vince Flynn novel of the same name. Production on that movie is aiming to get underway later this year, so filming on The Death Cure could resume this summer, or it’s possible they’ll wait to resume until early next year. With the 2018 date, they have quite a few options available.