Maze Runner: How does a movie cast recover when the star is injured?

31 January 2018, 09:07

Production on Maze Runner: The Death Cure was shut down after lead actor Dylan O'Brien was badly injured when a stunt went wrong.

The third and final film in the Maze Runner trilogy was highly anticipated after the first two became box office hits.

The mostly young cast, who regularly describe themselves as "family" in interviews, were happy to work together again - that is, until the accident.

O'Brien told Sky News there were times following the accident when he thought the movie would never be finished.

"I wasn't particularly itching to get back when I was going through recovery, it did take a lot, but it meant a lot to me to complete it so I realised that trumped everything," he said.

"I would have hated to look back on these films and have that be my last memory, that would have just been so wrong.

"To come back and have the experience that we ended up having a year later in South Africa, completing the film, everybody putting everything they had in to it, all coming back together one last time, in an amazing place, with an amazing crew, it couldn't be a better way to send it off, so that makes me happy more than anything."

O'Brien's co-star Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays one of his best friends in The Death Cure, said he wasn't worried about finishing the film.

"For me that wasn't the priority, it was completely up to Dylan.

"I just wanted him to be in a good place, and be well and be happy, the film was not a - I wasn't really thinking about that. I just wanted my mate to be ok."

Director Wes Ball, who also considers O'Brien a good friend, was the first person to reach him after he got hurt, and said it will stay with him forever.

"Dylan really got hurt, but I think we will all have a scar from this experience," Ball said.

"I will for the rest of my life be affected by this experience but the fact that we continued, pushed through essentially, and got to the end, says a lot."

Ball said it never crossed his mind to even consider shooting the film with a different lead.

"When we decided to shut down, Dylan and I had a chat actually, I said 'we'll either wait, or we won't do it. There's no pressure'.

"There was definitely an opportunity there for us to shut down completely, the studio could have said we're going to pull the plug, we're not going to finish, we're not going to wait for a year to make this happen.

"We had to let all the cast go and do their other commitments and figuring out how to bring that puzzle back together, that took some time, took some real doing, but we all stuck through and we got through to the end… and hopefully give fans a proper farewell."

Ball also said that he definitely learnt from the experience, and has now re-evaluated the kind of stunts he will allow on set.

"I certainly look at things differently now in terms of how you pull off these stunts and kind of rely more on VFX and stuff.

"We're not going to put anyone in danger, even though I don't think we were flippant about what we were doing previously - an accident happened that we didn't foresee happening - there's no reason to risk someone, especially a friend, for a shot, for entertainment."

Another of O'Brien's co-stars, Kaya Scodelario, said finding out O'Brien had been hurt was "absolutely petrifying".

She said: "Knowing that he was brave enough to come back to set and to finish the movie, I'm so incredibly proud of him.

"I think it speaks volumes about the kind of person he is, he really perseveres and I think it's incredibly brave to re-live those scenes essentially."

But she also said it had made her more nervous when doing action scenes.

"I think that's important - I think a lot of times you get wrapped up in a movie and you forget that this is real life and that you could get injured.

"We've seen it many times in the last few years unfortunately, there have been severe injuries on-sets around the world, and that should never happen.

"No one should ever go to work on set and not come home, I think it's made us much more aware of that."

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is out in cinemas in the UK now.