‘The Maze Runner’ Movie- Did the screenwriters read the book?

23 Sep

The day has finally come that The Maze Runner, which I read along with a few friends for my first Read Along, became a film. So, in a sense, this is my last post for that Read Along. And fair warning, there are huge spoilers here if you haven’t read the book and seen the movie. Be warned.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Image via IMDb.com

Image via IMDb.com

Finally seeing the Grievers! Throughout the book, I had trouble picturing what these things would look like. I thought they would roll a little more than they did in the movie, but it really helped to have a visual of the creatures.

Gally. Will Poulter, wow. The only other thing I’ve seen him in is We Are The Millers and I didn’t have high expectations but he was incredible. He struck a really good balance of ‘I care about the Glade!’ and ‘I hate you all!’ Really well done.

Minho’s hair. No more words needed.

The last five minutes. I thought it was really well done and I was glad to see the screenplay kept pretty well to the book. I thought for a minute that the people who died weren’t going to die and they wanted to change that as well, but I was glad to see that the movie stuck to the original story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Seeing the maze move. I actually liked this because it made the maze seem more dynamic and threatening. In the book, it seemed almost static and the Grievers were what was really scary ‘out there.’ By seeing the maze move, and more than just the doors of it, made the whole atmosphere more foreboding.

The serum. Why didn’t they always have the serum instead of Theresa bringing it up with her? It made Theresa a lot more suspect (in my mind) than she needed to be. She was already the only girl and had come at an odd time; why make her seem even more out-of-place? It would have explained why Ben seemed to recover from a sting a lot better as well.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The whole code system. The code was Thomas’s contribution to solving the maze and it was taken out. The key was a weird way to have them solve the maze, especially because the Griever hole was completely different as well and they were led to a part of the Maze Minho had conveniently ‘never seen before.’ I thought it was weak.

No telepathy. I was actually glad this came out. It was too much in the book and it probably would have been weird in a movie. No issues with that change.

Taking the boys to a ‘safe house’ at the end. It was just a bit at the end, but it gave the characters a sense of security after their time in the Maze, which we quickly learn will be disrupted soon. I think ending with that sense of security was important and I’m sad it was taken out.

Things That Changed Too Much

Theresa. She went from being a strong female character to a miss-placed female who looks oddly like Kristen Stewart, including the mouth breathing. Instead of liking her, I felt like she was in the way more often than she was helpful. Definite downgrade.

‘The Ending Sequence.’ I was not a fan of this, at all. In the book, Theresa was somehow able to trigger the ending where the door didn’t close and the Grievers came inside. In the movie, now we assume Minho and Thomas are responsible for it and the doors re-open? Add on top of that the sky doesn’t change and the Grivers kill more than one per night. That was just too different to even consider it was related.

Alby’s death. I was furious. Instead of sacrificing himself, he’s taken by the Grivers during the miss-guided ending sequence. The way he died in the book added to his character but this? This did nothing.

Overall Reactions

I was hugely disappointed. I thought the book wasn’t that great but could make a good movie but once I saw it on-screen, it was nothing special. My dad (who hasn’t read the book) didn’t think much of it as a film. “It’s just another action movie.” Which I think is well put. If I hadn’t read the book, I don’t think I would have liked the movie at all. Having read the book, I wonder if the screenwriters read it. Or maybe they disliked it as much as I did and were trying to re-write parts of it. Either way, fail. It’s not as different from the book as Silver Linings Playbook ended up being, but these still have some major differences.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Maze Runner movie? Did it change the book too much for you to enjoy? Do you think the sequels will be made into films? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

If you’re feeling like we need more of a conversation, click on over to my Facebook fan page where I started this conversation yesterday and see what others are saying.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


14 Responses to “‘The Maze Runner’ Movie- Did the screenwriters read the book?”

  1. randomizedphilosopher September 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM #

    Reblogged this on randomizedphilosophy and commented:
    Obviously not.


  2. randomizedphilosopher September 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM #

    I actually loved the series. The first book was strange but i wanted to see where they went with it. By the end, it’s literally my new favorite thing. And… The movie was ridiculous. Every major point was changed. Even the looks and functions of the grievers. The story is barely the same. They might as well have changed the title and the characters names.


    • Sam September 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM #

      I wasn’t a fan of the first book and it’s stopped me from finishing it, even though the books are on my shelf. I thought the movie lacked a spark that will make it stand out. It was just another action flick, what would make anyone see it? Do you think they’ll make the second book into a movie?


      • randomizedphilosopher September 24, 2014 at 3:27 PM #

        They already have… lol. Not sure if its done filming but it has a release date


      • Sam September 24, 2014 at 3:30 PM #

        Wow, that was fast! Normally they wait to see if the first film does well. I guess we’ll see on 18-Sep-15!


  3. Claudia {SparrowHawk} September 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM #

    I just stumbled upon your movie review! How did I miss it!?

    Anyway, I’m glad that you also observed the rolling mechanism to the grievers, I was really looking forward to this and was also hoping to see a more prickly element to them. I mean, they were okay, but I just expected more.

    I was let down that the writers took out the code system, I remember the thrill and excitement when I got to that part of the story. Minho’s hair was pretty awesome ha ha!

    Great review Sam 🙂


    • Sam September 25, 2014 at 5:04 AM #

      Thanks, Claudia. I understand why they took out the code, but I think it simplified the story a little bit too much. That gave a lot of credit to the characters intelligence and taking it out didn’t develop them as much.


  4. Ashlee October 14, 2014 at 3:19 PM #

    I finally went to see the movie and I liked it even less than I liked the novel – and I didn’t even like the novel!

    The best part about going to see the movie was that I went with my real-life book club, with whom I read The Maze Runner before reading it again with you lovely ladies. It was fun to get everyone’s take on it afterwards. We all thought Gally was casted spot on but came off as too much of a pushover. And we felt they greatly underplayed the relationship between Chuck and Thomas. All that crying by Thomas at the end of the movie made no sense after the little that was portrayed about their friendship.

    One lady who was not yet a part of the group when we read the novel asked on the drive home, “Did anyone like the book?” We all yelled out, “NO!” Her response: “Then why in the heck did we go see the movie?”

    Because sometimes curiosity gets the best of you, my friend…


    • Sam October 14, 2014 at 3:25 PM #

      I really like Gally’s casting but a lot of the plot that they took out (his interaction during the Griever attack, etc.) weakened his character. I wish he’s been stronger as well. I thought Newt was a lot weaker in the movie than he seemed in the book, too. Again, they took out the parts that made him strong. I completely agree about the Chuck/Thomas relationship. He seemed like he was way overacting at the end because their friendship was, again, cut. Wow, typing this comment makes it really obvious how much character development was sacrificed for action.

      Here’s the curiosity! Because I know myself and I’ll read the second book and see the second movie. Sigh.


  5. Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic) November 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM #

    great comparison of the book and movie! You’re right, we really did pick out a lot of similar thing in our reviews. 🙂 I especially like your point about the sky not changing, I was really looking forward to that part and was sad when they left it out. I think it would have been really dramatic.


    • Sam November 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM #

      In my mind, it was related to the degradation of Theresa’s role. She didn’t initiate the ending sequence, which was what caused the sky to act funny so they had to take that out of the movie. I wish they’d followed the book a little more closely because I liked what Dashner did with plot development.


  6. BTG02 February 16, 2015 at 7:37 PM #

    Still, after I finished the third book, it’s all I can think about in my life! My heart hurts. I don’t even know why! I feel sick! I’m urging to watch the film, even though what I’ve heard about it. The third book’s ending was disappointing. I wont ruin it for you, but again, my heart hurts? Why? I don’t know. Even since I finished that book that got me into reading after I thought I would never read a book again. HG – Meh. But it was my top. But after Maze Runner, I’d turn off my Kindle when I heard people moving, always saying ‘JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER’ until I found myself awake when my alarm goes off and Kindle left on. Bus – Read more… And more with the second copy borrowed from the school library. Get home. Who needs an Xbox One? Read. And I did it! All in one go. Did I mention that my heart hurts? Well, since I finished, I feel sick. My heart hurts. It all sucks. Will I ever read again? Help. Oh, and by the way, my heart hurts for some reason, making me feel sick. What now? What do I read now? Help me, I fell as helpless as— Ah, said I wouldn’t spoil. Ow. My heart hurts. Shocked. Didn’t think it was fair, to be honest. Selfishness. I can’t believe what happened. Please. Read the books. Then, your heart will hurt. Maybe. Did I mention my heart hurts? Why? No idea. Please help me, I want to feel like I did when I did when I was reading the series. It lasted… 2-3 weeks. Best days ever. I hate it when things end. Truly. When there’s not a ‘next’ and never can. Prequel all you want… You left my heart hurting.

    What do I read now? Please, I’m desperate. My heart hurts. It’s missing Maze Runner. Save me, doc. Yes, your apparently a doctor now! Just, please reply! I need another book, I’m going to stay with family and want to READ. But with no book, I have no hope. My heart hurts. Book suggestions for Maze Runner… Heart hurting people?


    • Sam February 16, 2015 at 8:22 PM #

      I’m so glad you found a book series you loved! I remember that Harry Potter was what turned me on to reading and I still love the books.

      If you’re looking for something else to read, Dashner has another series called The Mortality Doctrine (the first book is ‘The Eye of Minds.’) Normally I’ll look to an author’s other books when I find something I like. You can always ask your Language Arts teacher or school librarian. They’ll have a good idea of what other students are reading who liked the same title. You can also try the Goodreads page for the book and see what other readers enjoyed as well.

      Happy reading!


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