Kickstarter has removed a proposed sequel to Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, Where The WIld Things Are.”
The project, entitled Back To The Wild, was pulled after HarperCollins filed a DMCA notice with the crowdfunding website.
UK illustrators Geoffrey O. Todd and Rich Berner were trying to raise £25,000 for the sequel, which would explore what happened to Max and the Wild Things after the events of the first book. Back to the Wild was also going to be dedicated to Sendak’s memory. The Caldecott Medal winner died on May 8, 2012 at 83, and had vowed never to write a sequel to Where The Wild Things Are.
“People said, ‘why didn’t you do Wild Things 2? Wild Things 1 was such a success,'” Sendak said in a 2011 interview. “Go to hell. Go to hell. I’m not a whore. I don’t do those things.”
Todd and Berner said they had “been very careful not to impinge on Mr Sendak’s copyright and have taken the necessary legal advice around this whole project.” The duo included sample illustrations for the sequel, which would find Max in his 30s with a daughter, Sophie, who has been introduced to the Wild Things and creates a solution to their overcrowding problem.
Despite Todd and Berner’s best intentions, HarperCollins filed a DMCA notice with Kickstarter:
The infringing material is a proposal to create a ‘sequel’ to WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, entitled ‘Back to the Wild,’ using the characters, scenes and copyrightable elements of the original work. Any such unauthorized ‘sequel’ would clearly violate the Estate’s right to create derivative works.
After the notice was filed, a new message was posted to the Back to the Wild project page:
BACK TO THE WILD – Inspired by Where The Wild Things Are is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable.
No need to check the servers — the rest of Kickstarter is doing just fine.
If you are interested in this project, please check back later. Thanks for your patience.