Olly Moss Explains His Cancelled And Alternative 2012 Work Including 'Akira,' 'Lawrence Of Arabia,' 'Mad Men' And More

No matter how simple or elaborate a piece of art is, chances are the artist behind it made twenty different versions before arriving at what you see. Other times, they work on something and are forced to scrap it for one reason or another. This happens with everything: music, movies, posters, books. Most artists would never let the public see their unfinished works, but in the case of pop culture artist Olly Moss, he decided to let us in on the process.

Moss recently blogged about several projects he was working on during 2012 that either were either cancelled, scrapped or completely reimagined. Projects that weren't even close to complete, just ideas and simple sketches. Normally, you'd think, "who cares?" But Moss was working on some truly incredible stuff: A Lawrence of Arabia poster, an Akira poster, a Blade Runner poster, Dr. No, Mad Men and more. It leads one to wonder why most of this stuff didn't happen.

We asked Mr. Moss for comments on all of these posters and he was happy to oblige. After the jump, check out Moss's incomplete work and read his comments on each.

Moss posted all of these on his blog with the following description

2012 in cancelled projects, alternate directions, abandoned sketches and bad ideas.  All rough sketches from this year that never went anywhere, or changed drastically on the road to final.

Here they are, followed by comments and explanations of each. It's also important to remember that these were very rough and not close to finished.

And here are Moss's descriptions of what happened with each of these abandoned projects:

Game of Thrones

Part of a pitch for season 3 teaser posters. This was the only idea I personally submitted. I guess they weren't into it. Needs more boobs and dragons.

Bride of Frankenstein + Black Widow

Same thing for both of these, really. I liked each of the sketches, but when I tried to take them to final there was something really unsatisfying about my execution. I ended up starting from scratch and going a different direction. [Editor's Note: See the final Black Widow and Bride of Frankenstein at those links.]

Killing Me Softly 

Jay Shaw and I were pitching on the official one-sheet. We submitted a round of rough ideas, but we were very off the mark. It became clear they wanted something with people's faces on it. I wasn't particularly interested in pursuing this direction and had already taken on too much other work elsewhere, so I left the project. Jay did an absolutely stellar job on his final pieces, though.

Blade Runner

There was talking of doing a poster for the 30th Anniversary screening at a film festival in Leeds. The licensing was a ball-ache, though, and I eventually ran out of time and interest.


A friend of mine was approached by Manga entertainment about creating some posters for them. My friends and I often share ideas and help each other on projects, so we were bouncing ideas back and forth. This was one that I sort of liked – the Tokyo explosion making Akira's eye.

James Bond

Earlier this year, I was contacted by a PR company about doing posters for a series of official screenings in London celebrating Bond's 50th anniversary. They wanted one per month for a year. I couldn't commit to doing 12 posters and the project fell through. This was one of the early sketches I was playing with. I don't think I even sent this over to them.


Sketch for an Avengers Assemble cover that was just really wrong for the story.

Lawrence of Arabia

This is the most disappointing one for me; I feel it would have made a good poster were I able to finish it. It was supposed to be part of the PR for the Blu-Ray rerelease. I sent it to the client, who said that they liked it, but I never heard back after that. I'd love to finish this one.

Mad Men

Someone at Sky got in touch about contributing to their Mad Men season 5 campaign. It was all pretty casual. I said I'd send some ideas if I had any. I came up with this, which I liked initially, until I realised it just looked like a man jumping from the twin towers. I ended up never sending it.

A huge thanks to Olly Moss for indulging our curiosity as to what happened with all these projects. Again, it's super important to remember these were sometimes sketches not even the clients saw. But I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say I hope someone pays him to finish those Akira and Lawrence of Arabia's.

Which of these are your favorites? Do you wish he'd finish any of them?