Wes Ball deserves a lot of credit. It’s next to impossible to launch a young adult movie franchise. Think about all the ones that have tried and failed over the past decade: The Mortal Instruments, I Am Number Four, The Golden Compass, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, The Host, Inkheart, Eragon, Ender’s Game. And these are just a few—the list continues.
Like most people, when I first saw The Maze Runner, I was blown away by what Ball managed to accomplish because he didn’t have a huge budget. In fact, during the interview you’re about to watch, he revealed he had $34 million to make Maze Runner. Think about that number. $34 million. That’s what most studios use to make their mid-range talking dramas with a few action scenes. It’s not a lot of money by Hollywood standards.
But Ball took that budget and threw it all on the screen, crafting one of the best young adult movies of the past few years. Then, right after he put the finishing touches on the film, he immediately jumped into pre-production on Maze Runner: Scorch Trials and again knocked it out of the park.
While I won’t reveal any of the twists and turns of the second installment, I will say the sequel is bigger and better than the first film in every way. It’s loaded with action, has great character moments, and manages to unload needed exposition while the characters are doing other things.
One of my biggest gripes in movies is when characters dump exposition and they’re just standing around. When this happens it’s almost like the movies dies until everyone is done talking. One of the cool things about Scorch Trials is that when exposition needs to happen, Ball incorporates it into the action. This little touch should tell you everything about Ball and his talent behind the camera. I really believe we are watching someone at the beginning of a long career behind the camera.
During the extended video interview below Ball talks about how he was able to make the sequel look so huge, deleted scenes, if he’s do a director’s cut for the Blu-ray, the status of the Maze Runner: The Death Cure, how the third film will take place a year later, why he got Fox to purchase Fall of Gods, digital and laser projection, IMAX, and he even plays “Save or Kill.” It’s a great conversation so check it out below.
Reveals they had $34 million for the first film and $60 million for the sequel.
- How did they make the sequel look so huge when they didn’t have so much money?
- How they used practical locations and only 600 VFX shots.
- How he cares about entertaining the audience and turning a profit for the studio.
- How long was his first cut? Says it was 2 hours and 30 min.
- Will he do a director’s cut on the Blu-ray?
- How many minutes of deleted scenes on the Blu-ray? Says around 20 minutes.
- What’s the status of him doing the 3rd film? Says they will shoot in February.
- How the 3rd movie will be different than the first two.
- Talks about shooting in Vancouver for the last installment.
- How he admires filmmakers that found a home at a studio and his great relationship with Fox.
- Why he wanted to take on the movie Fall of Gods.
- Will he ever want to do another franchise property after Maze Runner?
- Could he film anything in IMAX on the 3rd Maze Runner?
- Talks digital projection and laser projection.
- Has he saved any deleted scenes or extras for the ultimate Maze Runner Blu-ray box set that I’d imagine is coming after the 3rd film hits Blu-ray?
- How the 3rd film might start a year after the second film ends.
- Plays “Save or Kill.”