The film franchise that is based on The Maze Runner book series by James Dashner.
The films included in this series are:
The Maze Runner Series contain examples of:
- Adaptation Name Change:
- WICKEDnote from the books, became WCKDnote in the films although the pronunciation remained the same.
- In books, the Gladers' names are revealed to be false names implanted in their brains when they were first taken in by WICKED, with their real names going unrevealed. There are three exceptions revealed in the prequels: The Kill Order reveals that Teresa was originally Deedee and The Fever Code reveals that Thomas and Sonya were Stephen and Lizzy respectively. However, the film version of The Maze Runner lacks the reveal about the Gladers' names being false, and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has a flashback where Thomas's mother calls him "Thomas" before he's handed over to WCKD, and in a later scene Teresa, having recovered her memories, mentions a memory of her own mother calling out "Teresa" long before she was ever taken by WCKD. All of this suggests that the names they've been using are their real names - which is implied to be true for the other Gladers as well.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Assistant Director Janson in the books is nicknamed the "Rat Man" because of his ugly rat-like appearance. In the films, he's played by Silver Fox Aidan Gillen.
- Adaptational Superpower Change: In the books, Thomas and Teresa could communicate with each other telepathically, with Aris and Posthumous Character Rachel sharing the same ability between themselves and the aforementioned twosome. This was revealed in The Death Cure to be the result of a chip implanted in their heads by WICKED, which could also be used to control them and the other Gladers, who were also implanted. In the films, all four characters lack this ability and whilst Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials reveals that the Gladers do have chips implanted in their bodies, its in their necks and merely functions as a tracking beacon.
- Adaptational Heroism: Ava Paige; in the books she's portrayed as a completely uncaring and near-psychopathic fanatic who doesn't mind actively killing healthy people if it serves her goals, while in the films she's presented as a somewhat sympathetic mother figure whose position as chancellor of WCKD is treated like a personal tragedy and who, by the final movie, has decided she'd rather stop the experiments and just let the immunes inherit the land after the rest of humanity has been wiped out.
- Adaptational Villainy: Well Anti-Villainy. At the end of the second story Teresa betrays her friends to WICKED. In the book, she's being manipulated by Ava Paige. In the film, she does it because she believed WCKD are in the right.
- Advertised Extra: Patricia Clarkson in both films, who only appears in scenes towards the end other than brief flashbacks. It all ads up to about ten minutes of screen time per film.
- Ascended Extra:
- Although a character in the books and is frequently referenced by other characters, as well as e-mails she sends to WICKED which readers are shown as epilogues to each book, Chancellor Ava Paige never appears in person or has any interaction with the Gladers during the original trilogy note . In the films she actually does physically appear on screen, played by Patricia Clarkson, appearing at the end of The Maze Runner in a video directly addressed to the Gladers where she is killed off, later revealed to have been faked, and in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials she is present during the climax when WCKD attacks The Right Arm and the surviving Gladers.
- Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials:
- Assistant Director Janson a.k.a. "The Rat Man" only appeared in one chapter near the start of The Scorch Trials and didn't appear again until the next book — The Death Cure, where he became the Big Bad. But here hes promoted to main antagonist status and spends most of the film pursuing the protagonists.
- The Scorch Trials briefly featured a Crank nicknamed "Blondie", who appeared briefly to kidnap Thomas and Brenda forcing them to drink hallucinogenic-spiked drinks and party with him and two other Cranks. The film turns the character into Marcus, who the Gladers have been searching for in order to find The Right Arms base of operation, which he would know the location of as a former member of said organization. His aforementioned actions from the book are changed from the delusional actions of someone going insane from The Flare virus, to a deliberate ploy to drug, capture and sell Immunes to WCKD.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Thomas and Teresa always wear blue in contrast to everyone else. The two will usually be wearing similar colours.
- Film of the Book: This series was based off the first three books by James Dashner: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure.
- Five-Token Band: The group that gets out in the film includes a white guy, a white girl, an Asian guy, an Indian guy, and an English guy. They're later joined by a black man and his mixed race daughter.
- Foreshadowing: In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, during the rave party scene, while under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs, not only does Thomas see Winston (even though he was already dead earlier), he also sees Newt as a Crank. Maze Runner: The Death Cure has this exact fate befall Newt.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Cranks of the book are infected humans at varying stages of insanity. Thomas and co are able to have conversations with a few of them. In the movie, they're straight up zombies.
- Pretty Boy: Newt as portrayed by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, with his soft, almost androgynous facial features and blond hair.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, Thomas finds the Glade's rescuers hanged. In the film, they're revealed to be working with WCKD. Although even the book implies they were working for WICKED, and Thomas wonders if their deaths were faked.