'The Maze Runner 3' Story Picks Up One Year After 'The Scorch Trials'

In just over a couple weeks, the sequel Maze Runner: Scorch Trials hits theaters, picking up exactly where the first film left off with Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and the surviving members of the Gladers escaping the maze and being escorted to "safety" in a helicopter. However, when it comes to the second film leading into The Maze Runner 3, it won't be the same kind of transition.

In a recent interview, franchise director Wes Ball revealed that Maze Runner: The Death Cure will actually pick up one year after the events of The Scorch Trials, which is quite a departure from the source material.

Collider sat down with Wes Ball while promoting The Scorch Trials, and here's what the director had to say:

"This next one will be cool because we're gonna cut maybe a year later. Yeah, so it'll be cool. Some things have happened off screen, which is gonna make the movie feel even bigger."

We don't want to dive into the details as to why this is different from the source material, just so we don't spoil the ending of The Scorch Trials for those who haven't read the book, but this sounds like a cool way to play with the story a bit, even for fans who have read the book. In fact, there will be some changes made in The Scorch Trials movie to make it distinct from the book.

When Ball appeared on stage at Comic-Con earlier this summer, the director said that he had incorporated some elements of the third book into The Scorch Trials. So we don't even know if the second movie will end on the same note as the second book. Whatever changes Ball has made will likely warrant the time jump, and I like the idea of having a bit of uncertainty in where the story is going, even for fans of the book series.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is already set for release on February 17th, 2017, and Ball says they're working on it right now, even before The Scorch Trials comes out. Production begins next February, and then they'll have a year until it hits theaters. The director adds:

"We're working on the third one right now, working to make it even better and even cooler, and doing the same thing we did on this last one where it's a different movie. It's gonna be a different kind of an engine, a different kind of genre almost and a different sort of color palette and terrain. It's gonna be cool. It's gonna be very, very cool I think."

In the meantime, if you're excited for The Scorch Trials, be sure to check out our set visit report, along with our interview with director Wes Ball, and another interview with the film's star Dylan O'Brien.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials arrives on September 18th, and you can watch the latest trailer right here.