Not content to sit by and let Lionsgate/Summit hog the dystopian YA pie, 20th Century Fox is getting a move on with its own post-apocalyptic teen novel adaptation. Relative newcomer Wes Ball, who recently attracted attention for his short film “Ruin,” is now set to direct The Maze Runner.

Based on the book by James Dashner, the plot follows a teenage boy named Thomas who wakes up one day with no memory of his past. He finds himself in an enclosed expanse called the Glade, surrounded by other young men like him. When a girl is sent to their community, she brings a message that could reveal the truth about the Glade. More details after the jump.

Deadline got the scoop on Ball’s hiring. Ball’s been working in Hollywood for close to a decade doing graphics work, but his profile shot up this past spring when his post-apocalyptic short “Ruin” began making the rounds. J.J. Abrams liked it so much, in fact, that his production company Bad Robot asked Ball for permission to use some of the shots from “Ruin” in the promo for its new NBC series Revolution. Last month, Fox acquired “Ruin” with the intention of expanding it into a full-length feature.

Fox optioned The Maze Runner a few years ago, and at one point was eyeing Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke to direct. Noah Oppenheim was hired to pen the script early last year. Ball is still on board to direct the longer version of Ruin for the studio, and it’s currently unclear which will go first.

The Maze Runner is the first in a trilogy, the conclusion of which hit shelves last fall. In addition, a prequel titled The Kill Order was published earlier this month. Here’s Random House’s description of the first installment:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

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