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Mad Men star January Jones, who plays the former wife to Jon Hamm's Don Draper, Instagrammed a picture of the Fifty Shades of Grey poster along with the caption, "Does this look familiar to anyone else?#madmenpostercirca2010."
Yes, it does look very familiar. As Yahoo mentions in their article and we pointed out when the poster originally released a couple of weeks ago, this poster follows the years-long trend of putting a lead character's back to us on the poster. We've seen it on everything from The Croods, Divergent and After Earth to The Dark Knight, The Watchmen and Walk the Line. Those last few mentioned movies predate the Season 4 Mad Men poster, which is the one...
So this trend is nothing new and Mad Men didn't invent it. That said, in fairness to Jones, she's not wrong to notice the similarities and it's likely that she was merely pointing it out to her fans, who would also appreciate the comparison. Don Draper standing in an empty office looking out over the city is pretty close to Christian Grey standing in an empty office looking out over a different city. It's entirely possible Fifty's poster was inspired by Mad Men's but it's just as possible that it's a coincidence.
So let's take a closer look at these two posters for a moment. Knowing Mad Men and Fifty Shades of Grey as we do, both posters may look similar at a glance, but they're actually drastically different in tone. For Mad Men, we're looking at Don Draper as he likely contemplates what's next for his life and career. We're left to stare at Don's profile and wonder what he's thinking. The Fifty Shades of Grey poster, meanwhile, gives us no facial expression to analyze from its male lead. Only the back of Christian Grey, looking confident, standing straight with his hands in his pockets.
Mad Men's poster allows us to spy on Don Draper in a contemplative moment. The Fifty poster invites us into the office, addressing the viewer directly with "Mr. Grey Will See You Now," putting the fan in Ana's shoes, which I'm sure suits fans just fine. It invites them into the room, where as Man Men's has us quietly peering in.
In terms of its approach, the movie took the teasier avenue, rather than the more obvious one, which could have put Christian Grey in his "play room" or had him dressed in those jeans he likes so much. They could have hinted at the sexier side of this story, but no, they teased the version of the character Ana first meets, suited, sexy and mysterious. Even if the similarities in arrangement are noticeable, it seems more likely that Fifty's poster was set up to acknowledge the start of E.L. James' story and not to mimic Mad Men.
In related news, we're now a year out from the release of Fifty Shades of Grey! The movie arrives February 13, 2015.