Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
UPDATE: Drew Struzan released a statement. Read it after the jump.
In 2008, one of the most prolific poster artists of all-time decided to put down the paintbrush. Drew Struzan, the man who made the iconic posters for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Shawshank Redemption, Harry Potter and so many more, decided he’d had enough and retired from professional art after 40 years. “I am well pleased to have been able to give a gift of beauty and peace through my artwork to so many throughout the world. Now I have laid down the burden and have peace and happiness as the reward for my day’s labor,” he wrote at the time.
Then last summer (and again last month) Struzan allowed Mondo, the poster boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse, to screen print and release some of his previously created art for Frankenstein and The Thing. Each poster was a massive success and Struzan was extremely happen with the results. So happy in fact, they’re now working on screen printing his work for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Still, this is all art he’d previously created. Save for offering some help on Cowboys & Aliens and The Walking Dead, he remained retired.
/Film has now learned that Struzan will start creating new art in the coming months. And he’ll do it for Mondo. He’s back. Read more after the jump.
Justin Ishmael, the creative director of Mondo, said the following in a recent interview we conducted about Comic-Con (check back soon for the rest of the talk):
He’s so excited to be working with us that, I don’t want to give too much away, but we basically got him to come out of retirement. He’s going to start doing new stuff. Not just old stuff. ‘I’m sitting down and thinking of new ideas for new stuff that you guys have.’ So that’ll be happening, hopefully, later on this year.
Ishamel confirmed that The Dark Tower poster (viewed here, from The Mist) is still on the horizon, possibly for later this year but more likely next year because of something new that really got Struzan – and others – excited:
There are other things that have recently come into the pipeline that, I think, will make people very excited. So speculate if you want to but that’s what we’re looking at with [Struzan] right now.
Attempts to get a comment from Struzan himself have yet to be successful but, if we do, we’ll update the piece.
It doesn’t sound like Struzan will be making the posters for every single LucasFilm movie again or anything like that, but, the fact that he’s working on new art is extremely exciting to legions of fans who not only grew up on his iconic imagery, but crave that kind of artistic, beautiful movie posters that have long since gone away. The kind Mondo has been trying to bring back.
As for what, exactly, Struzan could be working on, the possibilities are endless. Mondo currently has the licenses for Back to the Future (oh sorry, Struzan already did those), Jurassic Park, Studio Ghibli and more. But Ishmael hinted at something new. Maybe that Lord of the Rings license Mondo just got? Imagine that?
Struzan will be at San Diego Comic-Con later this week to discuss the documentary, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster. Seems like those guys just got their storybook ending.
UPDATE – Here is a statement Mr. Struzan posted on his website:
I have been out of the country for the last two weeks and only just returned to immediately appear at the Comic Con yesterday. I have not had a personal opportunity to respond to all those wondering about what Mondo / Justin was reported to have said about me coming out of retirement.
Justin and Mondo have always played their future projects close to the vest; not really divulging what is in planning. Of course this is exciting and fun for everyone and of course it breeds speculation. I am not one to jump the gun on any of the plans from Mondo. However I can put some speculation to rest…
I am not “coming out of retirement”, as if I have every quit making art.
As is known, the prints Mondo has done previously with me as well as the announced plan to print a limited edition of the much desired and anticipated art from the Mist of the Dark Tower were all pieces of art I had previously done. Retirement for me does not mean that I no longer paint and draw. It means that I no longer make my living as a free-lance illustrator for hire. Doesn’t mean I don’t still paint for friends, or do my fine art.
I am planning with Mondo to produce some art, not commissions but work I have chosen to create of my own initiative and will be, may be, pleased to allow Mondo to show. I love working with Justin and am pleased to be looking forward to show some of my new stuff with them. They are a great venue to show my new works. I have always been doing “new stuff”. Artists don’t retire, they just change horses.
So any misunderstanding regarding my coming out of retirement is as Mark Twin said, “grossly exaggerated”. I am painting and drawing still, will be showing with Justin and Mondo and hoping to share some new and exciting works through them to you the public. Soon to show some new stuff, but still remaining retired, not accepting commissions nor projects for hire.
Just be patient, new stuff you will certainly love is in the que.
thanks for caring…drew