In 2016, a commercial for X-Men: Apocalipse attracted negative attention. The image, used on billboards and posters, showed the title villain (played by Oscar Isaac) hooking up the mystical mutant (Jennifer Lawrence), the film’s heroine.
Although the superhero works primarily deal with struggles, battles, and action scenes, the image highlighted to promote the film has not been favored by feminists and activists on duty. To show a woman being strangled by a man to promote a film aimed at the general public – including children – through an image that everyone has access, they say, is at least in bad taste.
After the big controversy, studio Fox, producer of the film, went public to apologize for what had happened and put together all the pieces containing such an image.
Thinking about it, CinePOP decided to formulate a new list, precisely on images deemed controversial for the broadcast of a film. Let’s go.
Racism and confusion
Encontro de Casais (2009) is a very bad comedy, starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, among others. The plot features four couples of friends who seek to spice up their relationships and for that, travel to a seaside resort on a tropical island. For the British campaign, one of the couples has been mysteriously removed from the poster, precisely the black couple from the plot. Despite being the lesser-known faces of the cast (Faizon Love and Kali Hawk), the maneuver went wrong and the pieces were put together.
In another case, artist Art Sims, responsible for the image on the poster A Hora do Show (2000), was accused of racism by knowledgeable people. The image chosen is that of the “blackface”, a stereotype widely used in the past – and today considered in very bad taste – which shows whites painted in black. What scholars did not know was that Sims and Spike Lee, the film’s director, are black and strong representatives of racist causes, and used the image precisely as satire to intensify the film’s point, which theme is the Hollywood stereotypes of the past.
Zero tolerance to cigarettes
Stylist Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel has become known as one of the icons of fashion and elegance. And smoking, at least in the past, was a great display of sophistication. Nothing could be more natural then than the biopic poster of this great figure, interpreted in Audrey Tautou’s feature film (Coco Before Chanel, 2009), dabbing the image of the actress with a cigarette in her hand.
However, it is the French themselves who are responsible for banning any marketing campaign that carries such an image in the country’s subways. There, it is forbidden to smoke, even if it is on movie posters.
The poster for the fifth thriller Roommate (2011), the cheeky young clone of Mulher Solteira Busca… (1992), shows in his art the psychotic protagonist played by Leighton Meester in a crowd on his college campus. What surprisingly drew attention to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, was seeing its beloved university (or administration building) printed on the poster for the B movie, without permission.
After filing a lawsuit, it emerged that the image had been made public and legally permitted in the iStockPhoto app. In this way, the producers were able to maintain the image without a problem, which does not take away the feeling of shame for the students and the faculty.
Knife … or frame in the skull
Horror movies often use graphic images in their marketing campaign, after all, we are well aware of what audience these works are aimed at. And with Premonição 5 (2011) it was no different. The art on the poster showed a skull pierced by several rebars.
The controversy came after 13 complaints that children had been traumatized by putting their eyes on such a strong image. Thus, the specialized agency has taken measures to ban the campaign containing the image of buses and subways.
The Se Beber, Não Marte (2009, 2011 and 2013) franchise has become one of the most successful in the comedy genre. Part of the plot of the second movie involved the character Stu (Ed Helms), who had missed a tooth in the first, getting a tattoo on his face, identical to that of fighter Mike Tyson, a recurring figure in the trilogy. One of the film’s campaign posters accurately showed Stu’s face, already correctly drawn.
Tyson didn’t seem to care much. However, the person responsible for creating the art, yes. Artist S. Victor Whitmill, is the one who made the image used by the ex-combatant, and didn’t like the studio to own his creation, taking on Warner Bros. in court for copyright infringement. The marketing campaign with the poster was continued and the case was subsequently resolved amicably, through an agreement.
There is great reluctance on the part of the US censorship to endorse marketing campaigns for films that use guns. When your sale is for an action or police film, it is difficult not to represent the items on your poster, otherwise it could be considered misleading advertising. Various cases of films in which characters appear armed on posters have already sparked controversy, and in general it is requested that at least they do not point the weapon directly at us, in this case.
Here, we will evoke the case with Wanted (Wanted, 2008), a film with Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy. After 17 complaints, stating that the marketing campaign endorsed violence through the glorification and glamor of the use of firearms, such images were banned.
Sex in the desert
Sex is also a touchy subject when selling a film production. But here we have a special case. Sex and the City 2 (2010) featured actress Sarah Jessica Parker exuding sophistication as she made Abu Dhabi Sands a catwalk.
Therefore, the film was banned in Israel. The reason was not the Arabic content, nor the revealing costume of the protagonist, but the fact that the feature film contained the word “sex” in its title.
No nudity, for babysitters
No matter how sexy your movie is, in the marketing campaign the censorship steps in to ban its showing. Recently we have had two cases of major productions whose campaigns have become controversial to say the least.
Some posters of Millenium – Men Who Disliked Women (2011), by David Fincher, drew attention for putting Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) naked, showing the piercings on her nipples, which the actress has methodically made sure to really use in character composition. Interestingly, the biggest complaints were that Daniel Craig’s character seemed to be hugging her, which fans saw as a break in character dynamics. Shortly thereafter, New Arts put the feature film’s debut date strategically positioned on the actress’ nudity.
In Sin City – A Dama Fatal (2014), the dress of the character Ava Lord (Eva Green), who would first be played by Angelina Jolie, had to be made less transparent and not reveal much of the protruding gifts of the French actress. , who complained about the lack of need for such action – remembering that in the feature film the actress appears more naked than dressed.
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Speaking of Jolie, the actress did not see the need for it either and complained about the modification of the artwork of Lara Croft’s poster – The Origin of Life (2003). In the original version, Jolie’s nipples appeared through her jumpsuit and were strategically removed from the artwork.
It is not a case today that the producers organize the release of a certain film, until its protagonist explodes and becomes famous. It is clear that selling his production, mostly B works, which would not have as much appeal, and can now stamp the name of a recently famous actor, makes everything more favorable. Over the years, horror movies have done it with actors like Matthew McConaughey, Renée Zellwegger, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
We will discuss here the case of Jesse Eisenberg and the film Camping in Hell (Camp Hell, 2010). The film was relaunched in 2012, with the new title (initially called Camp Hope), obviously capitalizing on the actor’s fame, nominated for an Oscar by The Social Network (2010). Eisenberg, currently known as Lex Luthor from Batman vs. Superman (2015), sued the producers, alleging false claims. According to the actor, his participation in the feature film is just a cameo (or a quick appearance), made in favor of the filmmakers. The new poster prints the actor’s face, suggesting he is the protagonist of the production.
Photoshop was there
In recent years, marketing campaigns have gone hand in hand with computer effects when it comes to selling film images. Photoshop program is the butt of many jokes, when we see pictures that look nothing like, or try to make this improvement, in a certain star. In recent years, for example, there has been a decrease in the rear of actress Jennifer Lopez in the Contact Risk movie poster (Gigli, 2003).
The poster for As Bem Armadas (2013) was the subject of controversy due to the grotesque art made for its marketing campaign. The image used Photoshop in an amateur fashion during actress Melissa McCarthy’s weight loss.
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