March 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM EDT

The Maze Runner

Current Status
In Season
114 minutes
Wide Release Date
Patricia Clarkson, Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter, Thomas Sangster, Kaya Scodelario
Wes Ball
Fox Films
Action Adventure

What is beyond the maze?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a greenie, a runner, or if you have no idea what either of those words means. That’s still one of many central mysteries plaguing the group of unlucky boys stranded in the Glade of The Maze Runner — a new film from director Wes Ball based on novelist James Dashner’s hugely popular dystopian series. The story opens with a disoriented teen trapped in an elevator. He only knows his name: Thomas.

Soon Thomas (Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) finds himself among a group of boys, all living in a field surrounded by impossibly high walls. It’s a maze, and no one knows why they are there or how to get out. Mythologies swirl and the stakes keep rising as the boys try to uncover the mysteries of their plight. It doesn’t help that things “start changing” when Thomas arrives. To describe much more could spoil things for the uninitiated—but now that the trailer has finally arrived, Maze Runner devotees have a treasure trove of clues to dissect.

James Dashner was nice enough to talk to EW about the trailer, his favorite parts, and all the details that will leave die-hard fans either howling or scratching their heads. Check out Dashner’s deep dive after the jump.

James Dashner: The trailer begins just like the book did. Although I described the opening sequence as total darkness in the book, that wouldn’t make very good sense for a movie. I think Wes Ball captured the spirit of that pivotal opening moment so perfectly, showing the terror in Thomas’s eyes and the dirt and sweat and jerky movements of it all. The sounds are so perfect, cranking and squealing and metallic jolts. I got chills when the doors opened.

NYPD Blue: Bob D'Amico

Dashner: From the first time I saw it in test footage, the view of Gally jumping into the Box from up above has been one of my favorite images. So perfect. I love Wes’s vision and directing style. And, of course, Will Poulter just nails it as Gally.

Dashner: I saw so much footage throughout the process without sound, and something that always struck me was how well Dylan O’Brien can act, just with his facial expressions and body movements alone. This guy is a star, period.

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