Patricia Clarkson Joins Young Adult Fantasy The Maze Runner


Dystopian sagas have been around ever since we decided that utopian ones were just too unrealistic. So instead we get tales of violence and depravity set against the backdrop of a society gone wrong. In recent years, the heroes of these tales are teenagers, rebeling against the horrific world of adult control and power-hungry…sigh. I can’t even get excited about this any more.

One such dystopian tale is James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, a young-adult fantasy novel that has been compared to The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Lost. Said story of survival and young people is being brought to the big screen and Patricia Clarkson has signed on to play Chancellor Ava Paige.

Hereafter there be spoilers, so be warned.

Who is Chancellor Ava Paige, you may ask? Well, she’s a high ranking member of an organization that tests children ages 12-17 to discover who is the strongest and the most intelligent. The organization, known in the novel as WICKED (Christ. Seriously?), was formed to experiment on children who might have a resistance to a horrible disease that has wiped out much of the world’s population.

The maze in The Maze Runner is a big stone maze that the boys are forced to run through as a test of their intellects. Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien has signed on to play Thomas, a fearless young man who bears absolutely no resemblance to anyone you have ever seen in another dystopian fantasy. Ever.

So: Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games, huh? World gone wrong, shadowy organization experimenting on children and … why am I having trouble being interested? The presence of Clarkson might help, although she seems to be the requisite thespian name that has been added to give the cast someone that slightly older people know.

The Maze Runner will hit theatres February 14, 2014.