Drew Struzan: A Tribute To Science Fiction’s Poster Master

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

After Star Wars, Struzan’s best-known work is unquestionably for the Back to the Future films. Repeating but tweaking the same imagery for each successive image was a brilliant stroke: the lone Marty McFly adds Doc, and then Clara, while their clothing and the state of the DeLorean reflects their journeys in each film. In a time when movie posters seem to pretty much only riff on three or four different ideas — the “standing with back to camera” is a particularly annoying offender — it’s refreshing to look at such a simple and clever visual idea.


Struzan’s website reveals that the BTTF3 poster went through a few different evolutions. Initially it didn’t include Clara, but thankfully they realized it made sense to continue the pattern of the first two film’s posters. Below you can see one variant: a daytime version of the image, but before Clara was added.


Struzan’s talents have stretched across the medium, serving up his renditions on the worlds of Indiana Jones, Big Trouble in Little China, and even the Rambo movies. You can see his posters for Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cowboys & Aliens (a Comic-Con exclusive poster), Masters of the Universe (they can’t all be winners), John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Walking Dead, and even that overlooked ’80s family flick *batteries not included (I loved that movie back in the day!) You can see tons more of Struzan’s work on his website. You can also check out The Man Behind the Poster, a documentary about Struzan’s life and work — more info on that right here.

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