T H E F L A S H G A L L E R Y
Flash Gordon was a major motion picture property for its time. Having failed to secure the rights from King Features Syndicate to first bring Alex Raymond’s titular hero to the screen, young director George Lucas was compelled to create his own space opera heavily influenced by the cinematic serials of his childhood.
Producer Dino De Laurentiis, however, did manage to win the rights and in association with Universal Studios eventually managed to get the picture made in the UK at Shepperton Studios under the direction of Mike Hodges after the departure of original director Nic Roeg.
Double-page announcement from the Hollywood Reporter – Nov 12th, 1979
The global campaign for the movie would be significant given the phenomenal response by audiences, ironically, to George Lucas final product of Star Wars, a merchandising juggernaut and a film that would redefine movie marketing forever more.
To that end, no less than three tenured fantasy/movie poster artists were hired to produce artwork to sell the picture across the world in a series of stunning paintings that still resonate as some of the finest movie poster art of the era. First among these was British illustrator Philip Castle, whose mesmerising pre-production piece of the Battle for The Ajax was made into a foil print teaser–
Japanese quad featuring Castle art (size unknown)
For the theatrical advance poster, artist Lawrence Noble produced a piece that would be utilized for other merchandise such as the cover for the Flash Gordon book (see below) before being adapted for the final US Poster by Richard Amsel –
Advance US One-Sheet By Lawrence Noble 27″ x 41″
Final US One-Sheet, Art By Richard Amsel 27″ x 41″
Finally, for European territories, Italian artist Renato Casaro would produce a portfolio of fantasy-art style pieces which would arguably become the the most iconic of the Flash campaign, appearing on everything from novelisations to poster magazines to the UK Quad poster and Japanese release –
Painting By Renato Casaro (size unknown)
Spanish one-sheet with art by Casaro (size unknown)
Renato Casaro With His Creation, Feb 2017
This page is dedicated with respect and thanks to those artists for their incredible contributions to the longevity one of the most enduring science-fiction characters of all-time. Below are galleries of other media such a lobby cards and poster magazines as an archive of the 1980 release.
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