16 of the most imaginative movie wallpapers

What better way to mark a new year than by replacing that old desktop wallpaper that you've been looking at for ages? Movie wallpapers usually consist of predictable still-shots that are nice to look at but nothing more; you're probably looking for something with a little imagination, though.

That's why we've curated this list of the best movie-inspired desktop wallpapers, which all offer a different insight into your favourite films. Whether minimal, illustrative or 3D art styles are your bag, there's something here for everyone.

01. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse wallpaper

Don't look down

There can't have been many people expecting a weird animated Spider-Man film to be a huge Christmas smash hit, let alone for it to be considered one of the best superhero films of all time, but that's what the frankly bonkers Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has managed to do. Set across multiple parallel universes with a host of Spider-People, including Spider-Ham – a spider that got bitten by a radioactive pig, obviously – it's a whole stack of spiderrific fun, and it's hard not to love this vertigo-inducing desktop tribute.

02. Léon: The Professional

Realistic pencil drawing of Jean Reno and Natalie Portman taking aim with a sniper rifle

This hand-drawn take on Léon is bang on target

Some elements of Luc Besson's hitman classic feel a lot more problematic these days than they did back in 1994, but it's still hard not to love the core story of a kind-hearted assassin taking an orphan under his wing and teaching her the trade. And it's this aspect that's reflected in this stunning hand-drawn close-up.

03. Metropolis

Metropolis typographic title and Bauhaus styling

This graphic interpretation of the silent sci-fi classic will give your desktop some Bauhaus cool

Fritz Lang's 1927 epic is regarded as a masterpiece of early sci-fi cinema, boasting stunning special effects and beautiful art direction. The film was inspired visually by Bauhaus, Cubism and Futurism, and these inspirations are reflected in this elegant and understated wallpaper.

04. Akira

Moody art of Akira and motorcycle at night, overlooking a city skyline

Tetsuo! Kaneda! Etc!

Katsuhiro Otomo's movie adaptation of Akira was the most expensive animated film ever when it was released in 1988, and it still looks stunning more than 30 years later. We love this atmospheric interpretation by Jonas de Ro, featuring Shotaro Kaneda and his iconic motorcycle, with Neo-Tokyo exploding in the background.

05. The Shawshank Redemption

Blurred image of a tree with text overlaid saying 'Get busy livin' or get busy dyin''

Inspiration courtesy of Red

Who can resist an inspirational quote every now and then? This wallpaper's based on The Shawshank Redemption and nails its subject using just three elements: the tree in the background, the silhouette of a rock hammer, and a single line of dialogue.

06. Pulp Fiction

Cartoon of Uma Thurman's character in Pulp Fiction wiping her nose and looking at the camera

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

It would be remiss of us not to include a bit of Quentin Tarantino here, and we've opted for this fantastic vector portrait of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, catching her just at the moment after she's helped herself to a portion of the wrong substance. Don't try this at home, kids!

07. Dr. Strangelove

Silhouette of Slim Pickens riding an atomic bomb through the sky

Ride 'em, cowboy!

Peter Sellers might have been the star of Stanley Kubrick's Cold War black comedy, but it's Slim Pickens who steals the show right at the last minute, as he rides an atomic bomb, rodeo-style, down to earth. This lovely minimal silhouette captures that moment perfectly.

08. Batman

Polygonal Batman art

*squints* Hang on, that's not Ben Affleck, is it?

There's so much Batman to choose from out there, but we've kept things simple with this delightfully angular polygonal representation of the Dark Knight, and in doing so we've avoided annoying anyone by plumping for a specific Batman (although obviously Michael Keaton was the best). Result!

09. The Shining

Retro patterned carpet from The Shining

Show you're a real horror buff with this design taken straight from The Shining

If you like your wallpaper creative, abstract and film-related, perhaps this design is for you. This pattern is taken from the gloriously retro carpet found throughout the The Overlook Hotel in Kubrick's 1980 film adaptation of The Shining.

10. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Front of the pink Grand Budapest Hotel with mountain backdrop and title from the film

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a stunning piece of architecture

The whole of Wes Anderson's 2014 movie is a work of art, and pretty much any scene would make a stunning desktop background, but the impressive pink front of The Grand Budapest Hotel makes a grand wallpaper display indeed.

11. The Hunger Games

Negative space silhouette of the face of Katniss from the Hunger Games in profile, with a full body silhouette in front

Get two Katnisses for the price of one in this sleek desktop design

We absolutely adore this negative space Hunger Games design. If you are keen to show off your love of the film series but want something a little classier than the bog-standard film wallpaper, this design is sure to capture your imagination.

12. Fight Club

Two faces of Tyler Durden in Fight Club, with text 'You're not your job, how much money you have...'

The two personalities clash with this brilliant Fight Club movie wallpaper

"I saw a Fight Club poster the other day on Imgur's website, which inspired me to create this wallpaper," explains designer Alex Cican. "I'm using two exceptional drawings of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton." A brilliant movie wallpaper for members of Fight Club.

13. Princess Mononoke

The forest spirit from Princess Mononoke sitting on mossy rocks

The forest spirit from Princess Mononoke makes an appearance

There's plenty of Studio Ghibli movie wallpapers out there, but our pick is this Princess Mononoke-inspired offering from designer David Lanham. Featuring a forest spirit, a Kodama, set against a life-like background gives it that creative edge we were looking for.

14. Life of Pi

Whale breaching from the Life of Pi movie

Ang Lee's Life of Pi was certainly a feast for the cinematographer's eye

The cinematography in Ang Lee's Life of Pi is out of this world. The movie certainly got critics in a spin, with this epic whale scene stuck in many movie-goers' memories. This wallpaper adds an oil-painted effect to make it even more beautiful.

15. Indiana Jones

Cartoon-style graphic of Indiana Jones rescuing a woman from the jaws of a crocodile

Bringing back the old school Indie

Let's just forget about the most recent Indiana Jones release and instead try to concentrate on the old gems. This comic-inspired movie wallpaper will bring a burst of colour to any creative desktop. We love its old school feel; if only the movie makers had felt the same way!

16. Star Wars

Storm trooper white graphic on black background

We just had to include a Star Wars movie wallpaper, right?!

How could we compile a list of movie wallpapers without including some sort of Star Wars reference?! Here we go for minimal once again, with this Stormtrooper-inspired movie wallpaper. What more could your desktop want? Well, maybe the others in this list...

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.