Maze Runner Dylan O'Brien

Wes Ball has confirmed that he’s returning to direct “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure.”

Ball directed last year’s “The Maze Runner” and “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” which opens this weekend. The films are based on James Dashner’s dystopian science fiction series. Shooting for “The Death Cure,” the third and final film in the Fox franchise, is slated to begin in December.

“Ultimately our goal is to create an awesome three-movie trilogy,” Ball told Variety at Tuesday night’s red carpet premiere of “The Scorch Trials” in New York. “Not many people have done that and now I have the opportunity to do that. I am directing the third film and we’ve already been busy preparing and working on the final conclusion of this saga.”

Ball said his plan has always been to “do justice” to the books with a clear beginning, middle and end.

“We are setting up a lot of things that aren’t necessarily apparent in the second movie, but it will pay off big time in the third movie,” he added. “So that has been my approach and I’m glad that I can finish the series. I’m lucky and thankful that they asked me to direct all three films. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it or not, but honestly, it was the cast that I wanted to work with again. They are such great people.”

The films star Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter and Patricia Clarkson.

“The Maze Runner” was a solid performer, sprinting toward $345 million at the worldwide box office. “The Death Cure” will hit theaters on Feb. 17, 2017.

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