Blade Runner Reloaded

Blade Runner movie posters

Blade Runner movie poster comparison

One of our favorite poster illustrators is famed artist John Alvin. Alvin is responsible for some of the most famous pieces of film poster art, including memorable one-sheets for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the Star Wars trilogy. But his most striking work (and our site’s design inspiration) is his one-sheet poster illustration for the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner.

Surprisingly, Alvin was never completely satisfied with his original poster art for the Ridley Scott film, and set out to revise and redo his original Blade Runner artwork in the year 2000. Alvin, speaking about revisiting past projects:

But in the same sense, a chance for the artist, in this case myself, to go back and recreate something that I always liked but wanted to do it a little differently at the time and circumstances didn’t permit.

Here is a Blade Runner movie poster comparison of the two versions of the artwork. Which version of the poster do you prefer?

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  1. Hal!March 29, 2005 at 10:08 PMReply

    The second one is a big improvement. The flow seems to be more evident. . .

  2. AndiApril 1, 2005 at 2:02 AMReply

    Guess it might be a case of “too used to the one on my wall”, but for me the origanl wins out. On the reworking the top right colours just don’t sit right. It almost seems as if it was added just to fill the space – it feels off balance.

    Maybe it would work better for me if the colours top right were reworked as less of a duotone, but I liked Rachel’s smoke – excellent scene in the movie and it fitted the poster really well.

  3. Killer Shark « posterwire.comApril 21, 2005 at 3:35 PMReply

    […] one-sheet art. (The updated DVD art was reportedly done by noted movie poster illustrator John Alvin.) The original Jaws one-sheet was created by film advertising ad […]

  4. OttscayApril 30, 2005 at 11:02 AMReply

    I like them both, although Rachael appears a bit too “robotic” in the orginal with the way she is holding the cigarette. What really strikes me is the quote from Mr. Alvin, “…do it a little differently at the time and circumstances didn’t permit.” I wonder what the circumstances were? (i.e. Pressure from the movie producers, timeline constraints, etc.)

  5. adminApril 30, 2005 at 11:32 AMReply

    I believe the linked interview had Alvin explaining that he didn’t have a good photo reference for Harrison Ford — one of the circumstances he was referring to.

  6. Gary WilloughbyJuly 11, 2005 at 4:04 PMReply

    Unlike most fans, I prefer the first film and likewise I prefer the first poster. I think it is a memory thing. But bascially I like all things Blade Runner.

  7. DubiousdOctober 11, 2006 at 7:48 PMReply

    The artist for the Blade Runner poster is Drew Struzan.

  8. DubiousdOctober 11, 2006 at 7:56 PMReply

    Or so I thought.

  9. adminOctober 12, 2006 at 9:27 PMReply

    The Blade Runner one-sheet is all John Alvin. (His best, in our opinion.)

    Drew Struzan has done artwork for a Blade Runner poster before, however.

  10. avoidzNovember 4, 2007 at 3:24 AMReply

    I still prefer the original art; though “Rachel” looks better in the second poster.

    That said, I much prefer Drew Struzan’s artwork (seen on his website) for Blade Runner.


  11. Alice KeymerJanuary 17, 2008 at 2:58 PMReply

    Drew Struzan (The Goonies, Star Wars Trilogy, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Hook, The Cannonball Run, E.T.) Did the better artwork, which is finally on the new DVD!! A 25 year mistake finally rectified. Ridley Scott always prefered Drew’s to John Alvin’s version. The studio wanted John Alvin’s version, but he is better at painting landscapes (Cocoon, Jurassic Park, Twilight Zone The Movie, Gremlins, E.T.).

  12. John Alvin Art Show « « the movie poster weblogFebruary 8, 2008 at 2:15 PMReply

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  13. Ad Pitch « « the movie poster weblogFebruary 8, 2008 at 2:17 PMReply

    […] from the original Blade Runner poster (as illustrated by one of our favorite movie poster artists, John Alvin) is still […]

  14. Movie Poster of the Year « « the movie poster weblogFebruary 8, 2008 at 6:10 PMReply

    […] release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. The new Blade Runner DVD release features interviews with Blade Runner poster illustrators John Alvin along with Drew Struzan — a rare opportunity to see and hear film […]

  15. MeJune 22, 2008 at 11:54 AMReply

    I prefer the original, for nostalgic as well as artistic reasons – it’s simply better.
    Yes, Harrison Ford is more recognizable in the new one, but the cheery poster style and his smile don’t fit the mood of the movie. He has to compete with Rutger Hauer for attention, now placed left to the image axis. Rutger’s blue and the yellow on the left corner don’t go well together.
    Bad redesign, or rather a photoshopped copy of the old classic.

  16. Best one sheets (movie posters) - Movies - City-Data ForumJune 14, 2009 at 12:56 PMReply

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  17. Think twiceDecember 2, 2009 at 6:12 AMReply

    The second one definitely.

    For over a decade I’d look at my Blade Runner soundtrack CD’s cover and think, “I could do better than that,” and “Why are there sunbeams coming from Deckard’s face?”

    Now both faces are more photorealistic and less robotic. You can see more of the cityscape and get a sense of the scale of LA 2019. The most malevolent image of Roy Batty has been (appropriately) included. And those sunbeams, are now light coming through blinds (very Noir). A gorgeous improvement overall.

  18. Killer Shark « » the movie poster weblogJanuary 12, 2010 at 9:03 PMReply

    […] With the recent announcement of another Jaws Special Edition DVD release of the Steven Spielberg classic film, Guido Henkel of DVD Review notes the Jaws DVD cover design “features the crappy new cover art that disgraced the previous release, showing a Mako shark as opposed to a Great White.” This kind of criticism seems a bit unfounded, since the shark as depicted in the poster art has never been a Great White or Mako shark, just an ungodly sized set of teeth bearing little resemblance to any real type of shark whatsoever. The artwork used in the Jaws DVD releases is a reworking of the original Jaws one-sheet art. (The updated DVD art was reportedly done by noted movie poster illustrator John Alvin.) […]

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