Hook / one sheet / USA

05.12.11

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Hook
AKA
--
Year of Film
1991
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott, Laurel Cronin, Phil Collins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Adventure | Fantasy
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
910128
Tagline
--

Steven Spielberg’s folllow up to JM Barrie’s classic Peter Pan story featured Robin Williams playing a grown-up Peter Pan, now called Peter Banning and working as a corporate lawyer, who has forgotten his life in Neverland. Whilst visiting England his two children are kidnapped by a mysterious stranger and it’s not long before Tinkerbell [Julia Roberts] appears to return him to the world he once knew so that he can reclaim his youthful spirit and save his family.

The film was roundly panned by critics but was nevertheless considered a box-office success (with worldwide takings over $300 million) and is one of those films that splits audiences in two. Today, Hook continues to have as many fans as it does detractors, with some calling it Spielberg’s worst film and others lauding it as a misunderstood classic.

Whatever people thought of the film there’s no question that this final release poster by Drew Struzan was a definite success. It followed a very minimal teaser poster by John Alvin, which doesn’t even feature the name of the film. In his must-have book ‘The Art of Drew Struzan’, the artist talks about the creation of the poster:

‘We had a very long time to work on it, and you know what means: I wound up recombining heads, seemingly forever. ‘Round and ’round, for more than six months; everybody at Sony who needed to stake a reputation had an opinion on what the poster should be.

Nevertheless, Drew used the strong relationship he had built with Spielberg on previous projects to make sure his designs were seen by the director:

(…) I took each group of drawings directly to Steven. The first time, I walked onto the set where they were shooting Peter Pan in the tree stump. Steven stopped everything after he called “cut”, we laid out all the art on this huge table, and he stood there for like half an hour talking with me about it. Now, the cost-per-minute budget on a movie this big is how much? But Steven can do what he wants.

Not everyone was happy with the work in progress, as Drew recalls:

Dustin [Hoffman] said, “It’s not that I don’t like my portrait – it’s beautiful. But I don’t think it’s my character”. He wanted Hook to look “less villainous”. So off I went to Dustin’s house (…) we’re¬†walking¬†and taking and suddenly he goes into Actor Mode to explain what he wants (…) Finally I had to paint out a third of the picture and redesign it. He loved it. They all loved it.

Drew clearly loves the design but he notes that, in a twist of Hollywood madness, the poster wasn’t actually in cinemas until a week after the film opened.

The book (which is also available on Amazon.com and from all good bookshops) features many different versions of the poster before this one was ultimately chosen. Only Drew could have nailed the faces, particularly those of Williams and Hoffman, as well as this.

To see a gallery of the other posters by Drew I’ve collected click here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

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