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The Iconic Movie Posters That Almost Were

Daybees has raided the archives of Hollywood’s leading creative directors to unearth draft, alternative versions of some of the world’s most iconic movie posters.

Posters image

Our online exhibition reveals poster designs more avant-garde than the versions by the same artists that were ultimately selected by the studios and went on to achieve iconic status.

Some of Hollywood’s leading illustrators, including legendary 92-year-old Art Director, Bill Gold, have granted Daybees special access to their exploratory conceptual development work for movies including The Exorcist, Ocean’s Eleven, Pulp Fiction, and A Clockwork Orange.

These previously unseen, alternative designs – exhibited for the first time alongside the poster by the same artist that was given the green light – offer a thrilling glimpse into the creative process and the stunning movie posters that nearly were…

Bill Gold
Bill Gold

As a young man in the Warner Brothers art department in 1942, one of Bill Gold’s first professional commissions was to create a poster for the movie, Casablanca. Over the intervening seventy years, he has designed over two thousand posters for movies of every genre. His extraordinary, prolific career spans eight decades, and he is universally acclaimed as Hollywood’s leading creative director. In 1994, Bill Gold was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Hollywood Reporter. Aged 92, he now lives in Connecticut. He attempted to retire in 2004, but was convinced by director Clint Eastwood to design posters in 2011 for his J. Edgar: “Sixty years of Hollywood memories are richer because of Bill Gold,” said the tough-guy actor of his friend and colleague.

A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange - The official poster

The official poster

A Clockwork Orange - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

A Clockwork Orange - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Dog Day Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon - The official poster

The official poster

Dog Day Afternoon - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Dog Day Afternoon - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke - The official poster

The official poster

Cool Hand Luke - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Cool Hand Luke - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

The Exorcist
The Exorcist - The official poster

The official poster

The Exorcist - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

The Exorcist - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Mystic River
Mystic River - The official poster

The official poster

Mystic River - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Mystic River - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Unforgiven
Unforgiven - The official poster

The official poster

Unforgiven - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Unforgiven - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Bill Gold
Brian D Fox www.bdfox.com

A leading name in creative advertising, Brian Fox oversaw the campaigns for several movie classics including E.T., Batman, The Matrix, as well as the international Harry Potter campaign. He started his career as a toy designer with plastic model manufacturer Revell, before launching B.D. Fox & Friends, Inc, in 1979. The one-man advertising and graphic arts company quickly grew into the entertainment business’s leading audiovisual, print and digital technology creative services agency. Brian sold the company in 2007, and is now a California-based consultant to independent movie distributors, creating marketing strategies and executing the creative materials for new movie releases.

Batman
Batman - The official poster

The official poster

Batman - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Bill Gold Bill Gold
James Verdesoto and Vivek Mathur
- Indika www.indika.com

Even before graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he grew up, James Verdesoto won a national contest to design a movie poster. Sponsored by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the contest was to design the key art for the 1981 horror film The Burning. From then on James started the in-house creative services department at Miramax Films, and as Creative Director, went on to create campaigns for hits such as Pulp Fiction, The Crying Game, The Piano and over 200 other movies. In 1992, he co-founded Indika Entertainment Advertising with partner Vivek Mathur. Together they have created over 400 movie posters.

Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven - The official poster

The official poster

Ocean’s Eleven - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Ocean’s Eleven - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Ocean’s Eleven - Alternative 3

Alternative 3

Ocean’s Eleven - Alternative 4

Alternative 4

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction - The official poster

The official poster

Pulp Fiction - Alternative 1

Alternative 1

Pulp Fiction - Alternative 2

Alternative 2

Pulp Fiction - Alternative 3

Alternative 3