Yesterday, Universal’s troubles suddenly weren’t so far away, at least when it comes to Ana de Armas’ absence from the 2019 Danny Boyle-directed film Yesterday.
“Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but that creativity does not outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer,” U.S. District Judge Steven Wilson wrote in a Dec. 20 ruling on its largely unsuccessful motion. studio to drop the potential class action. first filed in January by Paul Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe. “At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by giving consumers a preview of the movie,” the federal judge said (read it here)
$5 million suit trailer release: In July and October 2021, California-based Woulfe and Maryland-based Rosza saw a trailer for Himesh Patel’s romcom that featured de Armas as a love interest. Both fans immediately rented the movie about a musician who wakes up knowing all the Beatles songs in a world where the Beatles never existed. One catch (with a deep voice): de Armas was nowhere in the picture.
The now Blonde actor had been cut from Yesterday entirely.
“I think the audience didn’t like the fact that their eyes were led astray,” said screenwriter Curtis Cinemablend in 2019 by Patel’s Jack Malik and why de Armas’ Roxanne character, as well as the subplot surrounding her, was left on the cutting room floor.
That may be the artistic and narrative reason, and that’s fair. However, Wolfe and Rosa felt trapped by de Armas’ presence in the Yesterday trailer, and I didn’t like being made fun of. “The defendant’s advertising and promotion of the film Yesterday is false, misleading and deceptive,” Universal’s Jan. 21 lawsuit said.
Despite the Comcast-owned studio and their lawyers Munger Tolles and Olson’s efforts to put this lawsuit behind them, Judge Wilson agreed with much of what the plaintiffs and their army of lawyers were coming up with.
“In summary, Universal has not identified any non-commercial speech that could be entwined with the trailer, and the inextricably intertwined exception to the commercial speech doctrine does not apply,” he wrote yesterday in an advance on the matter in discovery and the potential order. certification. “Therefore, because Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the trailer is false, commercial speech, Plaintiffs may proceed with their claims without offending the First Amendment.”
Although Judge Wilson also said in his ruling that the Court’s “judgment is limited to statements about whether an actress or scene is in the film and nothing else,” his decision could complicate matters in the loose trailer galaxy With this example being far from the first time a Hollywood movie trailer has featured someone who isn’t in a movie after all or barely in a movie or even footage that doesn’t come from the picture, the big picture here is that the exaggeration visually, verbal and non-verbal of the trailers, may need to reduce it or risk great liability.
Universal did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment Yesterday ruled yesterday. Typically, Comcast-owned companies issue a standard line of not commenting on litigation when responding to questions about litigation. Universal will eventually have to deal with the fallout from yesterday’s ruling in court, and then the Dec. 20 decision itself could prove to be a trailer for a much more epic event.