Lionsgate is not to happy with the Italian 12 Years a Slave posters which greatly overstated the role of white characters in the film.
Overseas distribution for Steve McQueen's film about Solomon Northup is being handled by Lionsgate's Summit, and a spokesman for the company told Variety that the Italian posters, which have made their way around the Internet, were unauthorized. The spokesman said:
The ’12 Years a Slave’ theatrical posters featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender that were recently released in Italy were unauthorized and were not approved by any of the producers or licensors of the film. 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 posters featured large images of the faces of Brad Pitt, who has what essentially amounts to a cameo as a kindly Canadian man, and Michael Fassbender, who plays the evil slave master Edwin Epps. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Northup, appears, running, at the bottom of the poster. Italian distributor BIM made the posters with marketing company Fanatical About Cinema, according to Variety.