Has ‘The Death Cure’ Been Cancelled?

Paul V. Rea

According to the Director’s Guild of Canada, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure has “wrapped production” in British Columbia.

The production, which first launched on March 14, is now listed as “(**WRAPPED** OFFICE OPEN UNTIL MAY 20)” on the DGC’s website. The organization keeps a full list, updated weekly, of all television, movie and web projects currently filming in the province.

This comes after 20th Century Fox announced last week that the movie would be “further delayed” due to injuries Dylan O’Brien suffered during a stunt on set on March 17th. The fact that the DGC says the production office plans to shut down completely on May 20th suggests this “delay” will be longer than just a few months.

Director Wes Ball on the set of The Maze Runner

Wrapped, in television and movie parlance, means “to conclude filming” and that has fans questioning if the third movie in the Maze Runner series will ever get made. Answering a fan’s claim that Fox’s statement that the film was “delayed” actually meant the film is “cancelled,” Director Wes Ball tweeted – “No. Delayed, is not the same as canceled. Far from it.”

Even knowing the current production is wrapped, Ball’s statement is accurate. The movie remains on Fox’s slate of upcoming features and will likely be made at some point but this current production, the one slated for filming this spring and summer, is apparently over.

Coming up with a new production schedule in the near future won’t be easy. A movie this big is like an ocean liner; it takes a lot of time, effort and planning to turn the ship around and alter course. It’s not as simple as just picking a new date and blocking out the time mainly because The Death Cure isn’t the only production impacted by the schedule change. For example, Actors Dylan O’Brien and Ki Hong Lee have ongoing commitments to television shows (Teen Wolf, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and a new schedule means another round of negotiations between studio and networks to make sure the actors will be available to do the movie as well as their ongoing shows.

Consider the dozens of other actors and crew who also have their next jobs lined up based on the old Death Cure schedule and you begin to see the difficulty Ball and the producers face in rescheduling. They’ll basically have to start the process all over again with pre-production, scheduling crew, scouting/securing locations and scheduling actors for a whole new production at some future date. So far the studio hasn’t commented publicly on how far in the future that might be.

Paul V. Rea
A monster science created but could not destroy; Paul V. Rea is a radio, TV and web journalist based in Clarkesville, Georgia. Paul is addicted to television of all genres and can often be found mouthing off about things he sees @paulvrea on Twitter.
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