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For those who have seen 12 Years A Slave, you know that the real star is Chiwetel Ejiofor, not Michael Fassbender and certainly not co-producer Brad Pitt, who only appears in the film’s final scenes. But an Italian distributor decided to put both international stars on its posters, downplaying the importance of Ejiofor’s Solomon Northup. The posters went viral and Lionsgate, which is distributing the film overseas, said that they were not authorized and are planning on recalling them.
It might be understandable that Pitt’s face would be put on the poster, since he is an international superstar, but the poster gives him near reverential status over Northup. The poster puts Ejiofor, seen running just like the American posters, in the bottom corner, just above the title. The Fassbender poster does the same, but his character is a villain. There was no third poster with Ejiofor in the center.
According to Variety, BIM is releasing the film in Italy and didn’t comment. Lionsgate and its Summit label said that the posters were not authorized by them at all. “Summit Entertainment, acting as exclusive sales agent for the licensors, is investigating and taking immediate action to stop the distribution of any unauthorized posters and to have those posters currently in the marketplace recalled,” the studio said.