Ana de Armas fans are suing Universal Studios for $5 million after it cut her role from ‘Yesterday’.
Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza have accused the studio of fraud after they paid $3.99 to rent the 2019 Beatles-themed film on Amazon Prime in January to see Ana after she featured in the trailer for the movie, despite her part being ditched.
The pair say Universal committed “false representation” as the 34-year-old actress appeared for 15 seconds in the 210-second trailer, but did not make the final cut of the movie – about a musician who is one of the few people in the world aware of The Beatles’ music after a mysterious power outage wipes the band’s presence from the Internet.
Conor and Peter say the $5 million lawsuit is equal to the number of fans who will have been disappointed by Ana not making the final edit.
Universal claimed trailers came under free speech protection in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and should be considered “non-commercial”.
But in a new ruling, US federal judge Stephen Wilson ruled the promos were subject to commercial speech regulations, including the California False Advertising Law and the state's Unfair Competition Law.
He said: “Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but this creativity does not outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer.
“At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie.”
Universal said the ruling could burden them with future lawsuits and stressed how other films including ‘Jurassic Park’ had also featured footage not shown in the final cut of the movie.
Ana was originally set to play a love interest in ‘Yesterday’, but writer Richard Curtis cut her role from the final film, saying fans would be upset her character would take away from the primary love interest Ellie, played by Lily James, 33.
‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ screenwriter Richard, 66, told CinemaBlend: “That was a very traumatic cut because she was brilliant in it.
“You know, it’s one of those things where it’s some of our favourite scenes from the film, but we had to cut them for the sake of the whole.”