*Even though Brad Pitt has a small role in “12 Years A Slave,” as the Canadian man who helps obtain the release of the film’s central character, Solomon Northrup – played by Chiwetel Ejiofor – the poster used in the marketing of the film in Italy would have you to believe otherwise.
As you can see, the Italian “12 Years A Slave” poster makes Pitt, who’s also a producer of the film, the focal point, with Ejiofor relegated to secondary status in the lower portion of the artwork.
Yes, we know. All we can do is shake our head and wonder how in the hell can this be happening in 2013. If this isn’t a slap in the face we don’t know what else it could possibly be when you consider that Ejiofor was nominated for a Golden Globe for his incredible performance in the film.
In any event, info about the poster came via a Tumble posting by a user whose handle is Carefree Black Girl. From there it was picked up on Twitter and other social media sites.
“I’ve been following the press for months and I can’t wait to watch it but REALLY? I don’t remember Brad Pitt being the protagonist of the film or having such a pivotal role in the story to stay in the middle of the poster,” the blogger tweeted. ”I sure don’t know anything about marketing strategy to appeal audiences but isn’t this going too far?”
Buzzfeed points out that other marketing materials for the film, which is translated to “12 Anni Schiavo” for Italian audiences, do feature Ejiofor more prominently. He is the unavoidable star of the trailer that was released in Italy earlier this month. In addition to the Brad Pitt, another Italian poster focuses on co-star Michael Fassbender, who plays an amoral slave owner in the film.
Well, now that the story is out and the Italians have been put on blast, news has come that Lionsgate, the studio behind the international distribution of the film said they will recall Italian posters that focus on Pitt (and Michael Fassbender).
Fox Searchlight is distributing the film in the U.S. and Canada. In case you need to be reminded, here’s the U.S. version of the poster featuring Ejiofor: