See a rejected Drew Struzan illustrated poster for COWBOYS & ALIENS

See a rejected Drew Struzan illustrated poster for COWBOYS & ALIENS

Universal contacted me and asked (quite nicely I might add) if I could remove the artwork from this article. Turns out they might be using it for something after all… so, YAY!

My original article is below, but I need to make a few updated notes. Sometimes what you hear or read and what is can turn out to be two very different things. Being a movie news website there are inevitably going to be times where things are told to us the wrong way or in the wrong context. Being someone who knows Drew Struzan and has had many candid conversations with the guy, I know a lot of horror stories, so naturally I assumed the worst with this. Turns out things may not be so bad after all. So assume nothing until you know for sure, and check back for more updates on COWBOYS & ALIENS, which is still one of my most anticipated films this year.

We just posted a new look at the upcoming summer blockbuster COWBOYS & ALIENS, and I’ve been mentioning a lot lately how sad it is that illustrated movie posters are a thing of the past.  The most notable poster artist for the past several decades was Drew Struzan, who retired a few years ago after being (understandably) fed up with the studio machine.  The man has countless stories of either being art directed to the point of exhaustion only to be told they went another direction anyway, to having his work cut apart and put back together in a Frankenstein fashion.  Well, chalk up another sad story for Drew, as today we see a rejected poster illustration for COWBOYS & ALIENS, supposedly intended to be used for official marketing purposes.  For those unaware, Struzan was the man responsible for the incredibly endearing poster campaigns for the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, several of the STAR WARS films, and the INDIANA JONES movies.  With Steven Spielberg producing, and Harrison Ford starring, there’s no doubt how fitting it would have been to have a Struzan poster to promote this film.  But looks like Universal had other ideas.  There’s always the possibility they thought it gave away the alien design too much, though I think it’s safe to say Drew did his best to keep it cryptic.

POSTER IMAGE REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF UNIVERSAL STUDIOS… I can’t say why, but may not be a bad thing.

ComicBookMovie.com had a quote from Drew which is pretty telling: “not using my work seems to have become the true mark of what I do. They didn’t use my Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth… likely will not use my Cowboys and Aliens.” Looks like he knew all along… or at least suspected. I just don’t understand why studios won’t give this stuff a shot anymore. What are they afraid of, people actually stopping to look at what’s hanging in the lobby???

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Con and Sci-Fi Expo conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.