Dylan O’Brien, Heal Thyself – We Can Wait

Dylan O'Brien at NYCC 2013

Dylan O’Brien at NYCC 2013

When news originally broke of Dylan O’Brien’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure on-set accident in March, fans feared the worst.

Early reports were conflicting and not very specific, but they all sounded awful. I couldn’t even bring myself to read the description of his injuries because it reminded me too much of an accident my sister had in high school that was luckily nowhere near as bad as it could have been. The delayed statements from his publicist and members of the cast just made people worry more. How bad was it? Would he recover?

Then we started hearing things like “not life-threatening“, “he is expected to recover”, and “he is one tough cookie“; fans were maybe able to breathe a littler easier, but I don’t think anyone sighed in relief. After all, those still sound pretty bad, and most of Dylan’s injuries were reportedly to his head – and I know I’m not the only person who immediately thought that “not life-threatening” doesn’t mean much with a head injury.

Dylan is a fairly private person. He very rarely tweets except in a promotional capacity. He doesn’t have a public Snapchat or Instagram, and he hasn’t made a Vine in years. You almost never see paparazzi photos of him unless it’s on a red carpet. In short, after his accident we didn’t even have the comfort of his social media presence to get us through the recovery period, because he doesn’t really have a social media presence. (Not that he owes us anything – but it still would have been nice to hear from him.) We had to rely on his Maze Runner and Teen Wolf cast mates to give us updates on his condition.

Earlier this week we started learning more about the accident, and it seems that things were much worse than earlier reports indicated. (Probably because early reports didn’t say much.) A few days ago, a picture circulated on social media of Dylan leaving the hospital. I’m not going to link it here because I don’t condone sneakily taking pictures of celebrities – let alone celebrities leaving the hospital – but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t seen it… Basically, it was a photo of Dylan in the hospital parking lot, walking under his own power and looking pretty good, considering he was hit by a car about six weeks ago. Speculation is that he was on his way home from a follow-up appointment, not that he was just now being discharged.

Now, the news is out that filming has been delayed indefinitely to give Dylan more time to recover. Headlines are saying that Dylan’s injuries are more severe than expected, but that may not entirely be the truth – I mean, it’s not like we knew a whole lot about his injuries in the first place, since no one was really saying anything.

Filming was originally slated to start back up on May 9th. Dylan’s accident was March 17th, which means he was given less than two months to recuperate from being hit by a car before being expected to return to set. Now, this sounds like his injuries are worse than we thought, or that he isn’t healing as quickly as expected, but it also sounds like the studio was a little optimistic about his recovery time. The Maze Runner trilogy is an action franchise, and even if Dylan won’t be doing any of the more intensive stunts for the rest of filming, it’s still an action-heavy role, and someone who was recently suffered a head injury cannot be expected to run around, or even commit himself to those long filming schedules. I would rather they be safe than sorry. Dylan is very dedicated to his work; fans have worried about him getting enough sleep for years. I would rather they give him another month or two so that he doesn’t feel obligated to return before he is 100% ready to do so.

The Death Cure was scheduled to be released February 17, 2017. That probably isn’t going to happen with the (understandable) production delays. I can’t even begin to speculate what Dylan’s injuries will do to his role on Teen Wolf, since season 6 is currently filming without him.

The bottom line, for me, is this: I do not care when or if The Death Cure comes out. I do not care if Dylan isn’t in season 6 of Teen Wolf. (Full disclaimer: I no longer watch Teen Wolf. I’d like to think that even I did, I still wouldn’t care.) The most important thing is that Dylan heals. Dylan has been working like a maniac for years. He’s had at least one film come out every year since 2011, and he’s also been filming Teen Wolf, not to mention any promotional requirements (conventions, press tours) that he’s been required to do for his projects. He deserves the time off more than anyone, and it’s scary to think about him being badly injured, but I want him to get better. I want him to fully recover.

So Dylan, if you’re reading this (and you’re probably not, I’m realistic), take all the time that you need to recuperate. BREATHE, DYLAN. Take a break, please. We want you healthy. Your fans will wait.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.



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