Wes was quite specific about what he wanted in the Crank design but he also encouraged me to add additional ideas. 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.
Early Crank Design
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.
San Diego Comic Con Poster
Wes Ball has released this poster on the 2014 SDCC. It's actually a Concept Painting by Wayne Haag. I added various details to it, like the collapsed buildings, some rubble and the running people.
Some unused designs I did for The Maze Runner. Luckily we got to see these cuties in the second film.