The Rocky film series may be one of the most loved in cinema, with its underdog hero that becomes a success. Recently Sylvester Stallone unearthed a piece of history related to the iconic franchise, the very first poster for the original film. It's unlike any poster you're probably familiar with, but what makes this particular poster special is that only one copy of it exists, as it was hand drawn by the great film poster artist Tom Jung. Check it out.
The poster has clearly received a bit of wear and tear over the 40 plus years since it was drawn, but overall it still looks great. Rocky Balboa, in a robe, is the centerpiece of the poster, he's clearly been through a fight. Beneath him, we see numerous characters and scenes from the film, including Adrian, Mickey, and the famous scene of Rocky running through the streets.
Sylvester Stallone shared an image of the poster on Instagram. It was apparently in the possession of Sly's brother Frank previously. It's just one of the classic Rocky images that we've been given over the last several months. With the spinoff film series Creed getting geared up for a sequel, we've been given a lot of insight into the filming of Rocky IV as the new Creed movie will see the son of Apollo Creed, who died in that film, take on the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed Apollo in the ring.
This poster, however, takes things even further back to the very beginning of the Rocky series. Tom Jung, who drew the poster, is one of the great movie poster artists of all time, having been responsible for iconic images for everything from Gone with the Wind, to the original Star Wars to Weird Science.
While the poster looks amazing, for whatever reason, the decision was made to go in a different direction with the poster design. There are a couple of different posters that are much better known when it comes to the original Rocky. Both are black and white, one shows Rocky and Adrien together with their backs to the viewer. The other, shows Rocky, also with his back to the viewer, celebrating atop the Philidelphia Museum of Art. The decision was made to show less of the actual film in the poster, which was probably the right movie, as the best posters usually tease the film rather than reveal it.
Still, this is a great look at the early days of Rocky, a peek into what it could have looked like. At the time there was no way to know that the movie would be as big as it would turn out to be or that it would spawn so many sequels. Creed 2 will see the return of Rocky Balboa later this year.