Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Check Out Unused Posters For 'Shutter Island' & 'Watchmen'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 25, 2013 at 1:24PM

The road to getting a poster design, approved, printed, sent out to theaters across the country and uploaded online, takes much longer than you might think. Not only do the creatives have to sign off, but also marketing departments, studio heads and more, which explains why sometimes, the most brilliant movies get the most milquetoast treatment. But since we live in age where everything seems to be preserved, some interesting nuggets from a couple notable movies have made their way online.
2
Shutter Island (skip crop)

The road to getting a poster design, approved, printed, sent out to theaters across the country and uploaded online, takes much longer than you might think. Not only do the creatives have to sign off, but also marketing departments, studio heads and more, which explains why sometimes, the most brilliant movies get the most milquetoast treatment. But since we live in age where everything seems to be preserved, some interesting nuggets from a couple notable movies have made their way online.

Film.com sat down with former movie poster designer Alex Griendling for a discussion about the ins and outs of doing work on studio projects, and he provided some pretty fascinating unused concepts and art for their piece. First up are a couple of on-the-nose pieces for Martin Scorsese's dream vs. reality thriller "Shutter Island." These options certainly play heavily on the psychological aspect of the movie, while the official versions went with the "missing person" fakeout narrative to drive its marketing. And by all accounts it worked, because the flick earned $128 million domestic, making it the director's second best box office movie ever at home, behind "The Departed."

But perhaps no poster could've saved "Watchmen," Zack Snyder's ambitious but flat attempt to bring the Alan Moore comic to life. "I think that film, in a lot of ways, represents what people would expect from working in the industry. We got to read a script, view tens of thousands of photographs taken during the shooting, view early footage of the film before special effects had been added, and our creative director met with Zach Snyder to discuss his goals with the movie," Griendling said, about his work on the superhero film, though even with all that access, he wound having to play by the rules of appealing to a mainstream audience.

"It started off wide-open, everything was on the table," he continued. "I wanted to do a Re-elect Nixon guerrilla poster campaign, since those posters and that plot line are pretty prominent in the book, but that was shot down as being too obscure—'Why would seeing re-elect Nixon posters make people want to see Watchmen?' "

In the end, "Watchmen" went with a bunch of pretty standard character posters, which didn't help distinguish it much from every other movie about dudes in suits. Anyway, the entire conversation is worth a read, so check it out.

Watchmen (skip crop)
Watchmen (skip crop)


This article is related to: Shutter Island, Watchmen


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates