In what is not so much an alien invasion as an architectural invasion, one of the film’s latest posters has superimposed a Shanghai landmark over an image of Hong Kong.
The poster released on Tuesday depicts a gigantic spacecraft as part of an alien invasion hovering over Victoria Harbour. But an image of the Oriental Pearl Tower, a TV tower located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, has been pasted into the foreground of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline.
The poster has gone viral on social media as Netizens shared the erroneous image. By Thursday evening nearly 1,500 had left comments on the film’s official Facebook page, with hashtags such as #hongkongisnotchina, #WhyOrientalPearlTowerHere and other angry criticisms. “Just don’t promote your movie in HK [Hong Kong] if you don’t respect HKers [Hongkongers],” wrote Allan Chan. “Fire the person in charge of your marketing design,” wrote Douglas Black.
Some responded by mocking the movie’s tagline “Why are they here?”. “Btw good question. Why are they here? Those Chinese,” Jacob Wu commented. Local politicians also took advantage of the designer’s insensitiveness and used it for their campaigns ahead of the city’s September Legislative Council election.
Horace Chin Wan-kan, dubbed “Godfather of localism,” who is running in the election, commented: “The movie adaptation of the sci-fi novel Arrival, which obtained the Nebula Award, [has] decent director Denis Villeneuve and actors Amy Adams [and] Jeremy Renner. However, everything is ruined by this improper poster.”
The film, formerly titled Story of Your Life, is a production of Lava Bear, FilmNation and 21 Laps Entertainment, with international sales handled by FilmNation. Paramount Pictures will release it in North America on Nov. 11. A release date for Hong Kong has not been announced.
Adams plays an expert linguist called on by the U.S. government to solve the alien mystery. The film’s first full-length trailer was released on Tuesday (August 16) together with 12 promotional posters.
Hong Kong, which was a British colony until 1997, has been rocked by political turmoil in recent years amid increasing control from Beijing. In recent months the clash of ideals has escalated into calls by minority groups for independence from China.