Looks like we won’t be going Back to the Wild.
A recent Kickstarter project to fund a sequel to the beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are has been pulled from the site after original publisher HarperCollins filed a copyright notice with the crowd-funding website. Anyone attempting to access the page will now find a message informing them the project “is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable.”
This is a blow to Geoffrey O. Todd and Rich Berner, the writer and illustrator who wanted to make the book (proposed title Back to the Wild) as a tribute to the classic original and its author, Maurice Sendak, who died last year. Still, the famously cantankerous Maurice Sendak himself was vehemently opposed to making a sequel. His response to people who wanted to know why he never did a Wild Things 2? “Go to hell. I’m not a whore.” So maybe making a sequel wouldn’t be the best tribute after all.
Not that that likely factored musch into HarperCollins’ decision. After all, the book essentially amounts to fan fiction, which has been notoriously difficult to publish (Amazon’s latest gambit notwithstanding). Publishers don’t tend to like other people making money off their products.
Well, if it’s any consolation, the project probably wouldn’t have gotten funded anyway. They’d only managed to raise a little over a thousand dollars towards their goal of £25,000 or about $37,000. And I for one am glad. It’s bad enough that publishers and filmmakers insist on bombarding us with unnecessary sequels for great films and books that should have been let to stand on their own; now we have to worry about fans doing it, too?