'Maze Runner' Sequel Scorch Trials Starts Production Next Month, Top Secret Ops In Albuquerque

Fans of the Maze Runner take note: the Maze Runner sequel, Scorch Trials, has more than a release date -- it's set to start production in the next month. A source near to the production says Fox is giving the sequel high-level treatment, with some security measures going into effect even as it gets ready to start shooting.

Maze Runner opened in late September to a $32.5 million North American weekend, pulling in $81.5 million worldwide. It's since gone on to do $152.2 million worldwide, to date, and the reception has been strong enough that Fox has already given the thumbs up to its sequel, Scorch Trials.

A source tells Inquisitr that the Maze Runner sequel is just a month away from swinging into full production at Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico.

"It's about one month out on production for 'Scorch Trials,'" the source told Inquisitr. "They're still in preproduction for the moment, but all around you, you can see the operations humming to life. A month from now, the whole set is going to look completely different."

Portions of the next Maze Runner film will be captured on a closed set, and staff at the studio are already said to be putting security measures into place to lessen the likelihood of leaks.

In the area where the Maze Runner sequel is set to start production, signs have gone up warning employees against recording or photographing any part of the production. Production personnel are also forbidden from disclosing details of the production to unaffiliated persons, and posting information to Twitter, Facebook, or any blogs is a definite no-no.

Fox is so confident in the Maze Runner sequel that it began laying the groundwork for the sequel before the first movie had even hit theaters. As to when Scorch Trials might hit the big screen, current speculation has the movie seeing a release date of September 8, 2015.

The second film in the Maze Runner series has already added new talent, with Mud star Jacob Lofland being among a number of new faces added to the production. Lofland will be playing Aris Jones, a significant character from the second Maze Runner novel who helps The Gladers discover more about the people who built the maze. The film has also added Divergent alum Rosa Salazar, who will soon be able to claim two Young Adult franchises as part of her resume.

As Scorch Trials' production gets underway in Albuquerque, the film will also be adding a bit of local talent. The Hollywood Reporter noted on Thursday that the Maze Runner sequel had picked up Giancarlo Esposito, better known as Gus Fring from the hit drama Breaking Bad. Esposito is well loved in the Albuquerque area, and the actor boasts a connection to Albuquerque that predated Breaking Bad.