Top 10 Sci-Fi Movie Posters

From King Kong to Star Wars, Forbidden Planet to Blade Runner, feast your eyes on the 10 greatest Sci-Fi movie posters ever…

1. Star Wars
Year: 1977
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher
Poster Artist: The Brothers Hildebrandt

The Star Wars franchise has given us an assortment of poster delights and they have, to varying degrees of success, been parodied, lampooned and homaged throughout popular culture ever since.

However, it’s The Brothers Hildebrandt’s original painting that stands out the most. A beautifully crafted tapestry with intricate attention to detail, it comprises the film’s many elements, including a mythical Luke, a rather sexualised Leia as well as R2, C-3PO and TIE fighters, all set against the backdrop of Darth Vader. It truly captures the operatic space-age action and the sheer otherworldliness of the film.

2. Blade Runner
Year: 1982
Director Ridley Scott
Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer
Poster Artist: John Alvin

Award-winning artist John Alvin’s iconic poster for Ridley Scott’s genre staple is a truly mesmerising creation. Capturing the noir aesthetics of the film and the skyscraping production design perfectly, photoreal paintings of Harrison Ford’s Deckard and Sean Young’s Rachael sit atop a view of the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles 2019.

Action packed and yet wholly atmospheric, it recreates the chaos of Scott’s visionary dystopia while maintaining a classical appearance and, of course, it introduces the signature logo too.

3. Superman
Year: 1978
Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman
Poster Artist: Bob Peak

Bob Peak’s subtle yet powerful design for Donner’s 1978 film is a classic example of how less can be more. The logo itself takes up only a fraction of the image but its impact is one of bewitching wonder.

The stark tagline, ‘You’ll believe a man can fly’, focuses attention on the draw of the then-ground-breaking special effects, but it’s the implication that Superman is somewhere up in the clouds that gives the poster both its immediacy and longevity.

4. Forbidden Planet
Year: 1956
Director: Fred M Wilcox
Cast: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen

The quite menacing- looking Robby the Robot with the arbitrators of political correctness, the MPAA, in a tizz these days. However, despite this misdirection, it is the beautiful use of colour in the depiction of Robby and the magnificent background that makes this a treasure.

The comic strip influences are the source of its eternal appeal and the self-explanatory tagline, ‘Amazing!’, completes the near-perfect package.

5. Indiana Jones and Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Year: 1981
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Poster Artist: Richard Amsel

Illustrator and graphic designer Richard Amsel produced two designs for the Raiders poster, one for the film’s initial 1981 release and this poster for its re-release a year later.

Playing on the character’s familiarity, the frenetic and action-packed design combines all of the film’s elements, as well as most of its characters, into this sleek and perfectly honed one-sheet.

All the characteristics that would become the series’ trademarks are present and Amsel perfectly captures the film’s matinee origins. To be honest, the magnificent title design alone secures its classic status. In a word: class.

6. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Year: 1979
Director: Robert Wise
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Poster Artist: Bob Peak

The ‘father of the modern movie poster’ Bob Peak’s design for the one- sheet was inspired. A bold and memorable image, the rainbow- coloured effect creates an aura of anticipation as it teases the audience with the recognisable faces of Kirk and Spock partly cconcealed behind it.

The confidently understated title introduced the Enterprise’s move from small to big screen, however, it was the cheeky tagline ‘There is no comparison’ that stated the film’s intent in bringing the beloved show to celluloid fruition at a time when Star Wars was still riding high in the public consciousness.

7. E.T.: The Extraterrestrial
Year: 1982
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore

This poster was withdrawn at the time in favour of the image showing Elliot and E.T.’s fingers meeting, however, the ‘flying bicycle’ scene is one of the best-remembered from the film and such is the image’s power that Spielberg went on to use it as the logo for his production company, Amblin Entertainment.

Timeless and instantly recognisable, the shot of Elliot and E.T. silhouetted against the moon is one of the most enduring in cinema history and, now a rare and valuable collector’s item, the poster’s stark simplicity perfectly captures the film’s heartfelt story.

8. Alien
Year: 1979
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

In much the same way as the film kept its xenomorph hidden for the most part, its poster shows you next to nothing but leaves you feeling everything.

The brooding atmospherics evoke the suspense the film conjures and the sickly green spilling from the egg hints at the menace inside. With a fantastic tagline, ‘In space no one can hear you scream’, it’s a triumph of the less is more philosophy.

9. The Terminator
Year: 1984
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

At the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was an unknown and so the decision to base the film’s poster solely around his now-iconic mug was a bold and brave move.

Straightforward and direct, much like the film itself, the poster is a terrifying portent of what the film had in store and it demonstrates the sexualised and muscled violence the Eighties would become remembered for.

10. King Kong
Year: 1933
Directors: Merian C Cooper, Ernest B Schoedsack
Cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

For a film that was so vastly ahead of its time, it is fitting that its poster is equally as prescient, and its giant monster and people in peril themes were an early indicator of things to come.

A forerunner of the posters for the creature features of the Fifties, Kong’s one-sheet is action-packed and brilliantly colourful. Kong consumes the poster like the icon of cinema he is.