Fans of Ana de Armas who took legal action against Universal Pictures have had their case dismissed by a US judge. The dispute arose when the actress was prominently featured in the trailer for the film “Yesterday” but was ultimately edited out of the final version. Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza, who rented the film for $3.99, accused Universal Pictures of false advertising, claiming they were deceived.
The film, directed by Danny Boyle, garnered $155 million globally and starred Himesh Patel, Lily James, and Ed Sheeran. The trailer included scenes where Patel’s character interacted with de Armas’s character, which were subsequently cut due to negative audience reactions. Screenwriter Richard Curtis explained the decision was due to maintaining Patel’s primary love interest, played by Lily James.
The disappointed fans sought $5 million in damages, arguing that the studio had exploited de Armas’s fame to promote the movie. They also claimed that trailers generally feature actors who appear in the film. One of the plaintiffs, Woulfe, even rented the film on Google Play based on the belief that de Armas might be in a director’s cut.
However, the judge ruled in favour of Universal Pictures, stating that the plaintiffs’ “injury is self-inflicted” since they had already watched the version on Amazon Prime where de Armas was absent. The court found no reason to believe that the Google Play version would differ. Universal’s lawyers emphasised that trailers are artistic expressions meant to convey the film’s general theme and often include scenes not in the final cut.
The judge concluded that the plaintiffs’ decision to watch the film was not influenced by Universal’s statements regarding de Armas’s appearance, leading to the dismissal of their case. This case highlights the complexities of promotional materials and audience expectations in the film industry.