The Internet has been sharing what is apparently an Italian poster for 12 Years a Slave that greatly overstates Brad Pitt's role in the film.
Yesterday, the author of the Tumblr "Carefree Black Girl" posted a photo of the poster, explaining:
I was at the movies the other day ( I live in Italy) and I saw the poster for 12 Years A Slave. 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 poster features a large image of Brad Pitt's head, surrounded by an almost heavenly glow. His name appears in large letters on the top of the poster. Meanwhile, Chiwetel Ejiofor's protagonist, Solomon Northup, appears, running, below Pitt's gigantic head. Pitt, who produced the movie, has just a small part in the film as a Canadian abolitionist who helps get word of Northup's illegal enslavement to Northup's contacts in the North where Northup was a free man.
While using the name (and heavenly visage) of an international star like Brad Pitt to sell a movie whose history and pedigree might not translate everywhere in the world might be understandable, this specific poster design manages to sum up one argument of the movie's detractors: that Pitt plays the role of the "white savior," swooping in at the last moment to save the day.
Now, this being the internet, there is always the potential that this could be a hoax. We've reached out to both the author of the Tumblr post and Fox Searchlight. The movie opens February 20 in Italy.
Update: BuzzFeed has found that another Italian poster similarly highlights Michael Fassbender, who plays the evil master Edwin Epps.