Citadel's first two episodes have premiered on Prime Video. The spy thriller series starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden bears influences from sci-fi and spy works but the official poster itself seems like more than an influence.
Instead, the posters and promo artwork for Citadel seem to be blatantly ripped-off from the posters of Christopher Nolan’s mind-boggling thriller Tenet. Right from the slanting title and its font to the characters pointing weapons in different directions, the similarities are just too obvious.
Given the fact that Citadel is a Prime Video original and Tenet streams on the same streaming service in many territories (including India), using the likeness of Tenet’s visuals seems quite intentional.
Previously too, films and shows have used deliberate influences from previously-existing materials for their posters. Think of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 assembling its ghastly-looking cast like the rebellious teenagers on the iconic Breakfast Club poster.
Never Forget pic.twitter.com/FMQz4Ml0PM— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) December 28, 2021
Or if you need a more recent and local example, think of Ranbir Kapoor holding Shraddha Kapoor in the poster of Tu Jhoothi Mai Makkaar, just like his grandfather Raj Kapoor held Nargis in Barsaat’s poster (an artistic influence that didn’t sit well with many Raj Kapoor fans).
However, at times, there can be some blatant copies in poster designs with the film producers hoping that their aping is not caught by anyone. But the people on the Internet have a fine eye to catch these culprits.
Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier is a director whose films you can never watch with parents or even friends, thanks to his unabashedly graphic style of depicting sex and violence. His horror Antichrist which deals with a couple grieving the death of their infant (by having sex in a shady forest cabin) has a poster that finds the leads making love in the backdrop of a tree with many curved roots that hide some bodies within them.
The backdrop was copied in its exact form as the background as Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline Fernandez embrace in the poster of Murder 2. While the Gothic background suits a dark metaphorical tale like Antichrist, using the same elements in Murder 2 seems very absurdly placed.
Die Hard 2 finds Bruce Willis stopping terrorists on a plane and battling enemies on an airport. Speed finds Keanu Reeves defusing a bomb on a moving bus. Both action thrillers are unique in their own approach but when it comes to poster design, Speed takes a step back as it just mimics Die Hard 2, replacing Willis with Reeves and a falling plane with a leaping bus.
Murder 2 took inspirations from the real-life Nithari killings and the South Korean thriller The Chaser. It would have made sense if the Emraan Hashmi-starrer’s poster bore inspiration from The Chaser but rather it also copied another Korean thriller Bad Guy. The sensational Murder 2 poster that finds a topless Jacqueline Fernandes holding a portrait of Emraan Hashmi is clearly copied from Bad Guy that features a similar scene. Even the lighting and color scheme of the room are the same!
Hiss, the controversial and poorly-received take on the “naagin” lore, stars Mallika Sherawat as a snake-woman and is directed by David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Lynch. And that is not even the most shocking part about Hiss. What’s appalling is that Hiss’s hideous poster that features the naagin being undraped in a red cloth is clearly copied from the poster for the 2004 historical adventure King Arthur.
The latter’s poster in its flashy 2000s-era glory features the titular monarch’s sword being wrapped in a red cloth. Replacing the sword with a snake-woman. The matter is as strange and visually-threatening as any of Jennifer’s dad’s movies.
Aamir Khan raised eyebrows (both his own and that of others) when the first poster of PK was revealed. The poster found its titular alien standing naked on a train track with just an old radio hiding his privates. While the poster did come off as witty and eccentric, it didn’t take much time for people to figure out that the poster was clearly inspired by Portuguese musician Quim Barreiros who similarly posed naked for his 1975 album Recibe Um Convite (with an accordion covering his lower torso).