Dylan O’Brien’s Courageous Comeback: Dylan Wanted ‘To Run’ But Stepped Up For ‘American Assassin’ [Opinion]

Dylan O’Brien has gone through a lot since his nearly fatal accident on the set of Maze Runner. It was a painful and difficult recovery. Making a full comeback in yet another action film, American Assassin, before O’Brien felt he had fully recovered from his accident and reconstructive surgery was tough. Dylan told the NY Daily News it was “a long road.”

“It was a long road. It was a really tough recovery, both physically and psychologically. It was absolutely a big challenge to step back onto a set and face the fear … and complete the recovery by getting back on the horse.”

American Assassin’s director, cast, and crew were aware of what Dylan O’Brien was going through. They were very careful with O’Brien. Still, it was initially hard for the 25-year-old actor to return to action films.

Dylan O’Brien fell from the top of one vehicle and was struck by another in March of 2016 on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Deep Water Horizon producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained to The Hollywood Reporter that Dylan O’Brien “came close to dying.” For more information on Dylan O’Brien’s recovery see this from the Inquisitr.

Dylan O’Brien’s American Assassin co-star Michael Keaton told Entertainment Tonight just how cautious he was in approaching fight scenes with Dylan.

“We had to go through the choreography for the [fights] because I was aware [of Dylan Obrien’s previous injuries.] I didn’t want to talk to him about it or bug him about it or remind him, but I had to know how close he could get, how close he can’t get, what side do I flip him on because I don’t want him to hit that area. So it made it harder, but in a way, it was better. You had to be very specific about every move you made.”


American Assassin was a physically demanding film to make. Dylan O’Brien actually had to go through combat training in order to make the film. American Assassin required fight scenes, gunfire, and all sorts of things that might unnerve someone who had been through a nearly-fatal accident on set.

Dylan O’Brien told Entertainment Tonight that initially, he felt fearful of getting off his own sofa, much less make an action film like American Assassin or Maze Runner: The Death Cure again.

“The state that you’re in after something like that, you just want to run from all that stuff. I didn’t really even want to leave my couch necessarily when I was allowed to, so yeah, it was a big step doing this.”

Dylan O’Brien explained further to the NY Daily News that he was fearful after the accident.

“[The recovery period was] a very personal time and a tough thing to have to go through publicly. It was a really scary time. I had a lot of fears. It was a really scary thing to happen.”

Teen Wolf Star Dylan O'Brien American Assassin Maze Runner
Teen Wolf an American Assassin Star Dylan O'Brien by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images]

While American Assassin was a great opportunity for Dylan’Obrien, Dylan was considering giving up that type of acting. O’Brien’s lengthy recovery from multiple facial lacerations and head trauma made it hard for him to decide whether he would return to work or not.

“I ultimately decided that I wanted to try it and I didn’t want to let it go. [American Assassin] ended up being really instrumental in the whole process.”

Dylan O’Brien even returned to make the third and final Maze Runner film, in South Africa, after making American Assassin. Dylan O’Brien told the NY Daily News he had to face his fears on the American Assassin set, but it took time.

“Ultimately it became about me beating it myself and being able to re-engage my work and my life. It took a while, but it was something that needed time — and I took the time. I got back at.”

Dylan O’Brien spoke positively about both American Assassin and Maze Runner 3. Dylan told Entertainment Tonight that he “loved” making American Assassin, especially “all the fight training and the gun training.” O’Brien also said that the third and final Maze Runner movie would be the best of the three.

“Our goal is to go in and finish it with a bang. I think we did good work, we had a really good crew down there in South Africa, a really good experience and [it would be] really good for me to put it away on a nice positive note, too. So yeah, it’s exciting. I’m excited about it.”

Dylan O'Brien of American Assassin Teen Wolf and Maze Runner
Dylan O'Brien of American Assassin Teen Wolf and Maze Runner [Image by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]

Dylan O’Brien said that the timing going into American Assassin turned out to be really perfect for him. O’Brien told Entertainment Tonight that he benefited greatly from the physical training involved in making American Assassin.

“At the time that I came in, and what I was coming off of, I was still at the very end of recovery there when I started, so that was probably the biggest challenge. All the training was very good for my mind and very good for recovery, in a way. It became part of my daily schedule. It really ended up being [therapeutic]. It came at a great time for me.”

Dylan O’Brien courageously faced his fears after the accident that nearly took his life and returned to make both American Assassin and Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Dylan’s courage is inspirational.


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American Assassin with Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton starts in theaters September 15.

[Featured Image by Greg Allen/AP Images]