If you’ve ever found yourself watching a movie, only to realize it wasn’t what you thought it to be, you’re not alone. Trailers are an essential piece to most films’ advertising but, sometimes, (do to the fluid nature of filmmaking) they don't always accurately set expectations. That can lead to disappointment, frustration, and – in the case of two Ana De Armas fans who watched Yesterday thinking she would be in it – a class action lawsuit.
It's been reported that Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe are suing Universal Studios in federal court after they say they each rented Danny Boyle’s 2019 romantic comedy for $3.99 on Amazon Prime. Their lawsuit alleges that the filml studio engaged in deceptive marketing practices by showing Ana de Armas in the film’s trailer, even though she did not appear in the final cut.
According to Variety, the lawsuit states that because they were “promised a movie” with De Armas, but “did not receive a movie with any appearance,” they did not receive the expected value when renting or buying it. The two men are seeking a minimum of $5 million from Universal, on behalf of themselves and other affected consumers. As of this writing, Universal has not commented on the suit.
In Yesterday, struggling singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) achieves global fame by passing The Beatles songs off as his own, after waking up in an alternate reality in which he is the only person alive who remembers they exist. The trailer for the film briefly introduces Roxane, played by De Armas, who meets Jack on The Late Late Show with James Corden and appears to be a competing love interest to his childhood friend Ellie (Lily James). The subplot surrounding Roxane and Jack, and Ellie’s subsequent jealousy over their interactions, was removed from the finished movie.
Yesterday’s screenwriter Richard Curtis told CinemaBlend in 2019 that it was “traumatic” to cut the actress from the film because her performance was “brilliant.” He said the decision was made because test audiences did not respond well to the idea of Jack falling for another woman.
Conor Woulfe and Michael Rosza’s lawsuit is not the first time fans have gotten the law involved when they felt a movie’s trailer was deceptive. In 2011, a Michigan woman sued FilmDistrict, which distributed Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. She thought the film’s promotional materials set the indie thriller up to be similar to the Fast & Furious movies. Another fan threatened to take legal action against Warner Bros. because he felt that, after making a 300 mile trip he took to see Suicide Squad, it was not what the trailer promised.
While Ana De Armas did not appear in Yesterday, she has had an impressive run in Hollywood over the last few years, with scene-stealing performances in Knives Out and No Time To Die. Fans will be able to see her in Netflix’s upcoming thriller The Gray Man, and her film with Ben Affleck, Deep Water will soon be available to stream.
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