Fox Delays 'Maze Runner' Sequel Release by Nearly a Year as Star Dylan O'Brien Continues Recovery

Maze Runner Dylan O'Brien Still - H 2016
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Maze Runner Dylan O'Brien Still - H 2016

'The Death Cure,' the third film in the trilogy, had been set to open in winter 2017 but will now get a 2018 bow.

As Maze Runner star Dylan O'Brien continues to recover from injuries sustained in a March 18 accident on set, Fox has pushed the release date for the third film in the trilogy, The Death Cure, back by nearly a year to Jan. 12, 2018.

The movie had been set for a Feb. 17, 2017, bow, but The Hollywood Reporter previously revealed that after production was shut down for the foreseeable future on April 29, it seemed unlikely that Death Cure would be able to make that release date.

According to sources, O'Brien was in a harness on top of a moving vehicle when he was pulled off the vehicle unexpectedly and hit by another vehicle. His injuries were described in a report from WorkSafeBC as including a "concussion, facial fracture and lacerations." When the production shutdown was extended, insiders told THR that O'Brien's injuries were more severe than initially believed.

Wes Ball is directing Death Cure, in which O'Brien's character searches for a cure for a deadly disease called the "Flare."

The first Maze Runner film, released on Sept. 19, 2014, grossed $348.32 million at the global box office on a $34 million budget. The sequel The Scorch Trials, which opened in the same window a year later, on Sept. 18. 2015, made $312.33 million at the worldwide box office on a $61 million budget. Fox's delay means that there will now be a nearly two-and-a-half-year gap between the second and third films in the YA action-adventure franchise.

On its new date, Death Cure will open opposite Paramount's animated film Sherlock Gnomes. On its old date, it would have faced off against Sony's Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey starrer The Dark Tower, Warner Bros.' Ice Cube-starring comedy Fist Fight and Universal's The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe.

As part of the Maze Runner shuffle, horror movie A Cure for Wellness, which had been set to open on March 24, 2017, moves up to the Feb. 17, 2017, spot and an untitled Fox/Marvel film that had been set to open on Jan. 12, 2018, moves back to March 2, 2018.

Fox dated and shuffled a number of titles this week, also moving another untitled Fox/Marvel film up to June 29, 2018, from July 13 of that year, bumping its Shane Black-written and -directed Predator reboot up to Feb. 9, 2018, from March 2 of that year and slightly moving back Kenneth Branagh's new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express from Nov. 10 to Nov. 22 of 2017.

The studio also dated Greg Mottola's comedy Keeping Up With the Joneses (starring Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot, Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm) for Oct. 21 of this year and set dates for Luke Scott's Kate Mara starrer Morgan (Sept. 2, 2016), the Warren Beatty-written and -directed ensemble film Rules Don't Apply (Nov. 11, 2016), Francis Lawrence's spy thriller Red Sparrow (Nov. 10, 2017) and Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel (July 20, 2018), produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau.