It all began with a Tweet by movie critic Calum Marsh praising an alternative movie poster for The Wolf of Wall Street as "the greatest advertisement ever conceived." That single Tweet kicked off a viral sensation across the internet, and an avalanche of praise and requests for the poster designed by Clemens den Exter.
Mill+ designer Clemens den Exter - or Clem - was asked by an old art school friend to create a poster for the Oscar-nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street for Cinerama, a small independent movie theater in Rotterdam. For a film that barely avoided a NC-17 rating and featured three hours of Quaaludes, spirited sex scenes, and all around debauchery, the official film poster played it a bit safe, maintaining its mass audience reach.
The "Dutch" Poster
Being given artistic freedom on the project, Clem decided to create a poster that was a bit edgier and tapped into the dominant themes of the film. Two of the main characters in the film, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, are pictured as floating heads surrounded by an array of icons on a muted lime green background. DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort) is framed between two waving American flags, becoming the pinnacle atop a symbolic altar to American Capitalism.
The bulls and chimpanzee represent the animalistic side of the characters while also connecting to the Wall Street setting. The chimp is a nod to the suit-wearing party "guest" chimp seen in the film and its placement between the woman’s legs mimics a certain racy scene with Belfort's wife. Not surprisingly, the placement of the chimp probably received the most attention. The wine, drugs and lobster symbolize the wealth and extravagance celebrated by the characters, completing the "money, wealth, power" trifecta.
The Road to DiCaprio
Calum Marsh’s Tweet made its way to the front page of Reddit and to blogs like Cinemablend and Complex Magazine, helping the poster go viral as the “Dutch" movie poster. A few days later, Clem was contacted by Martin Scorsese's personal archivist requesting posters. He then received an email from Joey Mcfarland, a producer on the film, telling Clem that the cast loved the poster and that Leonardo DiCaprio personally requested a bunch of copies. From Hollywood to Japan to Qatar, Clem has received orders for the poster from all over the world. You can order a copy by emailing Clem at email@example.com and visit www.clemmiepem.com to see more of his excellent work.