|The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)|
The sequel to Maze Runner (2014) called The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (otherwise known as The Scorch Trials) is a box office hit and took the series down a darker path than the first film. "It's scarier than the first one — the second act is like a horror movie," lead actor Dylan O'Brien told The Hollywood Reporter. One of the people that made the film so terrifying was lead creature designer Ken Barthelmey who shared designs of the terrifying zombie-like "Cranks".
Ken Barthelmey is a professional concept artist who's worked on major motion pictures like Maze Runner (2014)
Click on the images to enlarge. Be warned that these images have some spoilers and are absolutely terrifying.
"It's still an adventure movie, but there are a few action sequences that are on the edge of being horror," the director director Wes Ball said, "It's not just a rehash of the first one. ... [Horror] was a fun new genre for me to play in with these characters."
"It was great to collaborate with director Wes Ball again." Barthelmey said, "I also had the pleasure to work among the very talented artists Ian McQue and Wayne Haag. My main involvement was to design the monstrous 'Cranks'." He said that the biggest problem was to keep the design from becoming "too gory" and avoid an R rating for the film. "Nevertheless they needed to look aggressive and very scary, so there were a few limitations," Ken Barthelmey said.
When someone is infected with the "Flare" virus they lose their sanity and eventually become homicidal creatures the uninfected humans call "Cranks".
"Wes was quite specific about what he wanted in the Crank design but he also encouraged me to add additional ideas." Barthelmey said in his portfolio, "Based on his notes I created this first sketch. Additionally I came up with a nasty idea of how this parasitic virus could spread from host to host. It was a bit far fetched but a good start base though"
"Besides the time pressure, designing the Cranks involved many challenges. Cranks are no zombies, the design needed to convey that. Wes wanted them to look grounded and scary without any crazy body deformations. A way to accomplish that is built something on top of it's skin. We came up with the idea of sprouts which overgrow the body like ivy.
"For me it was much fun to come up with a plausible explanation of how this 'virus' operates. The initial idea was that this soft, slimy tissue grows inside the stomach of the host and eventually finds it's way out. Released in oxygen, it soon hardening into a gristle like horn-structure, which feeds on the skin of the host in order to grow even more," - Ken Barthelmey
"Wes liked this sketch very much. This sketch set the direction we wanted to go, however it was a bit too far down that road." - Ken Barthelmey
Here's what they looked like in the final film
STAGES OF INFECTION
"Pencil sketch illustrating different stages of an infected human. It starts with sickness and stomachache, veins begin to darken and pulse. The black substance finally finds its way out and human slowly transforms into a gruesome monster" - Ken Barthelmey
"It was important for Wes to remain some remnants of humanity in the design so that we felt pity for these creatures." - Ken Barthelmey
"Some unused designs I did for The Maze Runner. Luckily we got to see these cuties in the second film." - Ken Barthelmey
See more of Ken Barthelmey's wonderful portfolio at theartofken.com.
Click on the links if you want to see more of Ken Barthelmey's work or The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials what do you think of the creature designs?
Official Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Summary
"In this next chapter of the epic 'Maze Runner' saga, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all."
Directed by Wes Ball
Cinematography by Gyula Pados
Production Design by Daniel Dorrance
Starring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito
Release Dates: September 18, 2015 (US)
Official Site: http://fox.co/ScorchTrialsMovieSite
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