The Miles Davis Movie: Tagline or no tagline?

Over at The Playlist is a teaser poster for “Watchmen.” If you aren’t familiar with the Alan Moore-penned graphic novel the film is based on, the significance of the image might be lost.

The text with the picture are the words “Justice is coming to all of us. No matter what we do.” The hype for this movie is building rapidly so no doubt any teaser poster will do the trick to keep the conversation on overdrive.

Of course this got me thinking about taglines and whether or not the teaser poster for the Miles Davis film should have one.

I love teaser posters. I love movie posters in general (the good ones), but something about the poster before the poster gets me riled up about an upcoming movie I want to see. It’s an art, for sure, and the better movie posters are able to strike just the right balance of visual pizzazz and substance – whether it’s over the top, or ever so subtle.

I’ve written ad nauseum about the non-existent movie poster for the Miles Davis biopic. When the poster does finally hit the web it will be all hands-on deck here at Miles Davis Movie headquarters.

For the teaser poster I’ve mentioned that a black background with the words ‘Miles Davis’ written across the middle (in white w/ a cool font) might do the understated trick in signaling the forthcoming movie.

I did a quick search for teaser posters. Here are few that stood out.

The Dark Knight
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Quantum of Solace
Simpsons Movie

Maybe instead of the words “Miles Davis” there’s only the eyes, or maybe a trumpet. Perhaps the words “Miles Davis” above a trumpet.

I did suggest earlier a riff on his signature. Or even the image on the cover of the Jack Johnson album.

Maybe the name is all that’s required. It’s a ‘name’ that conjures a variety of images and feelings. That might be enough. We’re assuming the name of the Miles Davis biopic will be called “Miles Davis,” so perhaps it’s okay to stick with it. Look, the movie wasn’t called “Ray Charles,” just “Ray.” And that worked out fine. In this case, I think you need the “Davis” with the “Miles.”

Much of this has to do with how to sell the movie. Fans of Miles Davis are already going to see it. This is about the demographic that are looking for something entertaining, or are intrigued enough about a legendary figure to buy a ticket. The film is still too early in the development stages to worry about that yet (it’s okay, I’ll worry about it now), but eventually it will be a hot topic in some marketing executive’s office somewhere.

The “Ray” movie poster is effective. I wasn’t able to find any teaser poster, but the official poster sort of goes along with my idea. The tagline on the poster nicely lays out the theme of the movie: “The extraordinary life of Ray Charles. A man who fought harder and went farther that anyone thought possible.”

Maybe this is what the Miles Davis biopic should utilize – a powerful text that sums of the iconic status of Miles Davis.

I’ll run a few taglines up the flag pole, but if anyone has anything to add please do so. *Disclaimer: In no way do I presume any of my tagline ideas will be any good.

“Cool is Forever”
“It’s About that Time”
“The Man, the Music… the Legend”


2 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: Tagline or no tagline?”

  1. I like your post and ideas. A good teaser poster would do wonders.Where is it?? My personal favorite: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace! Extremely simple and effective.

    *I love the image on the Jack Johnson cover – that would be a GREAT teaser poster.

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