The iconic poster for the movie was made by designer Gustav Klimt and has a very specific purpose. It is simple because it’s meant to be used as wallpaper so people can see how awesome James Cameron thinks his film looks.
James Cameron explains the Aliens poster, the picture that launched his career as a director.
James Cameron is one of Hollywood’s most unusual individuals. The filmmaker of Avatar -and its upcoming sequel-, who is also responsible for some of cinema’s greatest successes, such as Titanic and Terminator 2, is a fantastic director and an outstanding artist. Cameron used to produce movie posters and was a talented artist who could sign a large number of storyboards in the blink of an eye. Now, in his new book, Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, the filmmaker discusses his experience designing posters for an old film studio called Saturn without ever viewing the films since they were so horrible, instead sending in pictures he felt were fantastic. Cameron described the films as “awful.” “I highly advise that no one sees the movie, as I never did.” I was barely able to watch for approximately five minutes before turning it off.”
A journalist who interviewed Cameron about Tech Noir, which has a number of these posters, inquired about how the experience had influenced his own film posters, if at all. In a video chat, Cameron added, “I’ve never pushed marketing teams to go one way or the other between images and graphics.” “They demonstrate things to me.” I believe it was different on Avatar, and we actually brought in Dylan Cole, one of our designers, to do the pictures for Avatar. We made these in our own design department, believe it or not. As a result, I believe in our philosophy in the same manner that I used to believe in the covers of all those science fiction novels I bought as a youngster. I’d purchase the book if it had a decent cover.”
Cameron perked up and exclaimed, “I recall there was a humorous story about the Aliens poster!” before moving on to the next topic. He continues, “I had a strong view about it,” remembering the creation of the poster for the sequel to one of the most important sci-fi films of all time.
“So I walked into the office of 20th Century Fox’s head of marketing, and I saw him on his final day at work, and his office was all packed up.” His final meeting before leaving the company was with me. He was seated at his desk, and he was pressing a bulb to make this small green plastic frog leap around the desk. “What’s up with the frog?” I inquired. “It’s my stress frog,” he said. “OK, this man is a casualty,” I say.
“But I’ve got a one-sheet for you,” he said. He also displayed this one-sheet. I believe it is available online; a couple of them have leaked. And it was this dreadful mash-up of photographs. It seemed to be worse than a Roger Corman one-sheet, since Roger, like me, valued excellent one-sheets. Although the films aren’t really outstanding, the one-sheets are. And I looked at it, and I held it in my hands, and I said, “Oh, let me tell you precisely what I think of this one-sheet,” and I gently crumpled it up and tossed it in the corner. He was also experimenting with the stress frog. “Honestly, if I had to choose between that piece of s**t and an all-black frame, I’d choose the all-black frame,” I added. And it seems that after I went out of the office, he contacted someone and said, “He wants everything entirely black!” He was deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly de That’s why, if you’ve ever wondered why Aliens’ one-sheet has nothing on it, that’s why.”