Tilting At Windmills

Dear Universal, Free Goners

It would seem from The Playlist‘s coverage from SXSW (cited in the previous post here) that Joss Whedon’s views of Goners‘ prospects might be described, in one fan’s words, as “optimistically depressing”.

What appears to have happened is that the endless series of rewrites for the studio (as well as the collapse of Wonder Woman) led to Whedon souring somewhat on the studio process, which likely helps explain his September 2009 plea via SCI FI Wire (now Blastr): “Universal, release Goners into the wild so it can be free again.”

As part of the existing Dear Universal, FREE GONERS effort, you now can write an open letter to Universal Pictures via a new website called Write Public.

Dear Universal Pictures,

Joss Whedon has called Goners a supernatural thriller, a kind of horror film, and a young woman’s journey. “It’s an antidote to the horror movie with the expendable human beings in it,” he once said. “Because I don’t believe any human beings are.”

Written after he finished filming Serenity, the script spent a number of years at Universal Pictures in rewrites only to be end up on the back burner by the middle of 2008, not long after Mary Parent (the executive interested in the script, as she had been in Serenity) left the studio for a position at MGM.

In a September 2009 interview with SCI FI Wire, Whedon responded to a question about the status of the script with a simple request: “Universal, release Goners into the wild so it can be free again.”

Since several years of rewrites led only to the project being put on the back burner, I respectfully urge you to do as he asks, so that the film can move forward.

As part of his fan base, I defer to whatever his wishes might be on just how that should happen. My own wish simply is to express my support for his request.

Please free Goners.

This letter (mine, obviously) can serve as a model, or you can write your own. Whatever words you use, please remember to be respectful and courteous. After all, we are asking them to do something they are under no obligation to do, and we are taking up some of their time to do so.

It should be noted that the loss of both Wonder Woman and Goners in the end yielded a creative path which included the writing and production of The Cabin in the Woods and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, a return to television with Dollhouse, landing the summer blockbuster that is The Avengers, forming a micro-studio to produce Much Ado About Nothing and In Your Eyes, and forward movement, apparently, on the web series Wastelanders with Warren Ellis.

In no way should expressing support for Goners be taken to be disappointment with the slate of projects Whedon has managed to manifest since that project got sidelined. It’s indisputably a very exciting time be a Joss Whedon fan.

But I and many others will always and forever be Team Goners and my appetite for that mysterious project remains frustratingly unsated. And so, this, even though, in all likelihood, it’s all just so much tilting at windmills.

With Whedon’ 2009 public plea to Universal, and his clear hesitation to return to the frustrations of the process which trapped the project in development hell to begin with, perhaps, even as we gear up for all he’s bringing us this year and next, it’s worth making at least a little bit of fuss about Goners, too.

Image of Don Quixote and the windmill courtesy Robin Ator via the specified Creative Commons license.