After playing a minor character named Lynn in next spring’s Divergent sequel Insurgent, up-and-comer Rosa Salazar will continue her rapid rise to YA stardom by taking on the key role of Brenda in Fox’s already-dated Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, we learned yesterday.
When The Maze Runner, based on James Dashner’s book of the same name, became a critical and commercial success last month, Fox was quick to date the sequel and push it into pre-production. Wes Ball will be returning to helm, and cast members Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee are all set to reprise their roles.
Salazar’s character will enter the mix as protagonist Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) attempts to lead his group to safety after having spearheaded their escape from a deadly maze. She is part of another group of teens that, like the one led by Thomas, includes a group of boys and one girl (Scodelario played Teresa, the lone girl of Thomas’ group, in The Maze Runner). In Scorch Trials, both groups end up running from a grave threat in tunnels beneath a destroyed city. And predictably, a potential romantic triangle is established between Brenda, Thomas and Teresa.
The young actress isn’t the only new addition to the franchise. Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen will be taking on the part of the main villain, who has a small role in Scorch Trials before coming more central in the planned third film.
As a fan of the first film in the franchise, I’m excited to see that a fresh face like Salazar is being entrusted with such a significant role. O’Brien, Scodelario, Brodie-Sangster and Lee all nailed their parts in The Maze Runner, and there’s no reason to suspect that the same studio responsible for casting them will drop the ball now.
Maze Runner: Scorch Trials will arrive on September 18th, 2015.