Check out Flash Gordon concept art by Chris Foss!
Every Friday I feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Flash Gordon (1980)
The movie Flash Gordon has some insane visuals thanks to art director Danilo Donati but there's one design that was almost even more inspired thanks to master illustrator Chris Foss. The live-action movie based on the long-running Alex Raymond comic strip told the story of a football player "Flash" Gordon who gets kidnapped to the alien planet Mongo and fights the evil dictator Ming. In the film, the Hawkmen give Flash Gordon a Rocket Sled (Space Scooter) that he rides into battle.
Chris Foss is a professional concept illustrator who's worked on classic Hollywood movies like Alien (1979), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Jodorowsky's unmade Dune (2013).
Click on the images to enlarge.
"I saw Dino De Laurentiis, he gave me a verbal brief. I was then taken down to the department that was physically building the stuff and we discussed what this thing was supposed to do in the film. And I then went away and, over a long holiday, produced the designs for it."
Foss said it was the only thing that he designed for the film and was left to do it his way. "I would have designed the cycle because he had to stand up and he had to have handlebars." Foss said, "So logic would have dictated the rest of the design. It was a working design.
He postulates that his designs inspired the design of modern Jet Skis.
Here's the video interview on Foss' YouTube channel.
Here are some of the unused designs:
See more of Chris Foss's wonderful portfolio at http://www.chrisfossart.com
Click on the links if you want to see more of Chris Foss' work or Flash Gordon artwork on my blog.
Some images via http://www.mingocity.co.uk
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Flash Gordon what do you think of the Rocket Sled?
Official Flash Gordon Synopsis
"Alex Raymond’s famous comic strip blasts to life in the action-packed sci-fi adventure Flash Gordon. When energy waves pull the moon out of orbit, New York Jets quarterback Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) unwittingly finds himself heading for the planet Mongo, where—with assistance from beautiful Dale Arden (Melody Anderson)—he’ll take on Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) and rescue humankind. Featuring spectacular thrills, out-of-this-world special effects and unforgettable music by Queen, Flash Gordon is an exciting live-action adaptation of one of the most popular characters of all time!"
Directed by Mike Hodges
Cinematography by Gilbert Taylor
Production Design by Danilo Donati
Starring: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde
Release date: December 5, 1980
© Copyright 1980 Starling Films, Dino De Laurentiis Company, Universal Pictures. All rights reserved
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