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Inglourious Basterds retrofit as vintage Indie Indy

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This gorgeous hand-painted poster for Inglourious Basterds makes me realize that Tarantino has given us the rip-roaring Indy adventure that Lucas and Spielberg failed to deliver with Crystal Skull. (“Aldo Raine and the Avengers of Krystall Nacht”?) I’ll confess I was about to reach my saturation point with the wall-to-wall collection of poster variations for Basterds, but they’re still among the most consistently evocative set of marketing materials of the year. This illustration isn’t consistent with the photographic grit of the rest of the campaign, but it’s certainly in sync with Tarantino’s sense of classic splashy exploitation cinema. This rejected effort comes to us appropriately via Film School Rejects, after originally appearing on PosterWire. That’s where you’ll find an interview with the artist, James Goodridge:

Can you tell us how you came to work on Inglorious Basterds? The film’s marketing campaign used conventional photo based posters for all it’s one-sheets. Why did you decide to finish the proposed artwork you created as a final illustration on your own even if the studio had passed on it?

James Goodridge: In the case of Inglourious Basterds I was called by the much respected creative director I’ve worked with on numerous projects including the Harry Potter series, 300, Lust Caution. The movie studio had already produced some teaser posters but wanted a fresh take, truer to the director’s vision and influences and the story. The creative director had only a few requests from the studio but this was to be an occasion where I had considerable creative input. I came up with 6 designs one of which became the favourite of all concerned. However at this time the movie studio decided they’d like to try building it in photoshop. A few weeks later I was asked to produce an illustrated comp.

I should mention how important it is to have a creative director who believes in the illustration option and I was so fortunate that this was the case. The comp was approved with only minor changes but we heard nothing more. I never met with anyone at the studio or the filmmakers so I don’t know what took place but the decision was made not to pursue the illustration. I elected to paint a finished illustration as I didn’t want to get a call at the eleventh hour and have to produce it under the gun. So even when the illustration option is supported by the creative director and the filmmaker himself (check out the lovingly recreated posters used on the set of Inglourious Basterds) it is not a “slam-dunk”. It’s important to say that this is not unusual, people change their minds. Even an illustrated poster for Indy 4 was not a foregone conclusion. Now to people who care about these things it’s like not having John Williams score the movie or casting Matthew MacConnaughy as Indiana Jones but in the end fortunately the right choice was made.

Bottom line: This was the one project this year I thought I’d never get the opportunity to work on after seeing the early teasers so I was really excited to work on it. Yes, I wish the image had been used but I’ve been working in this arena long enough to know that, until it’s printed, nothing is certain.