'The Maze Runner': Eerie concept art revealed for best-seller movie adaptation -- EXCLUSIVE

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Above is the short film Wes Ball made that helped land him the job of directing The Maze Runner. RUIN is the prologue to a much longer epic he hopes to make someday, and was a side-project he made while working as a special effects designer. (Some of the overgrowth elements used in the short came in handy while making the concept art on the previous page, he notes.)

As for The Maze Runner, we already know about Dylan O’Brien’s character Thomas. (At least, as much as you can know about a character who doesn’t know anything about himself.)

Here are some of the other kids trapped in the glade with him

Gally — played by Will Poulter (Son of Rambow, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

“He and Thomas are two sides of the same coin,” Ball says. “Thomas fully embraces and charges into the unknown and Gally is all about self-preservation and keeping things safe and normal.” But that approach has caused stagnation and hopelessness in the primitive glade civilization. “Over the years, the boys have developed ways of doing things that actually prevent them from finding a way out,” Ball says.

Alby – played by Aml Ameen (Red Tails, TV’s Harry’s Law)

“He’s the main dude. He’s the father figure of this group,” Ball says. “He was the first glader, the first boy sent up the elevator, and he had to survive a whole month by himself not knowing what’s going on. Then the next boy showed up. He figured out that order was how to survive in this world. He’s very protective of it.”

Newt – played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Paul McCartney in Nowhere Boy, the voice of Ferb on Phineas & Ferb.)

You can tell from his limp, Newt has been through something he’d rather not talk about. “He’s Number 2 in the glade. He’s basically Alby’s right hand,” Ball says. “If Alby’s not there, Newt takes up the reins, but he’s not really up to the challenge and it makes a kind of power vacuum with Gally, who would prefer to do things his way.”

Chuck – played by Blake Cooper (Parental Guidance)

“He’s this absolutely adorable kid. Sort of a little brother character,” Ball says. Chuck is younger and smaller than most of the other boys. “He totally stands out, like ‘Why is this kid here?’” the director says. “He tries hard, and nobody expects much out of him, though he gets his hero moments.”

Cooper got the job, by the way, by relentlessly lobbying Ball on Twitter. When the filmmaker and his casting director finally saw his audition tape, they were staggered by the young performer’s charisma. “Oh my God he’s amazing,” Ball says. “We almost cast someone else who wasn’t as close to Dashner’s description, but Blake actually fits Chuck to a T.”

Minho – played by Ki Hong Lee (TV’s The Nine Lives of Chloe King)

Minho doesn’t say much – he just runs fast, which makes him invaluable for solving the riddle of the maze. “He’s an Indiana Jones-type adventure dude,” Ball says. “He’s the fastest, most bad-ass guy who goes out into the maze every day. He’s kind of a mysterious guy, but will eventually open up, too. We’ll get a sense of his humor and different aspects of his character.”

Teresa – played by Kaya Scodelario (TV’s Skins, Clash of the Titans, Moon)

You’ve probably noticed all the residents of the glade are boys – until a critical part of the story when the elevator rumbles and opens its doors to reveal Teresa. There’s not much we should reveal about her to those who don’t yet know the story, but suffice to say she has the boys in awe.She is this mysterious, almost harbingers of doom,” Ball says. “When she comes up, it all goes bad.”

The Maze Runner is shooting in Louisiana and will be in theaters Feb. 14, 2014.

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