Ana de Armas fans allowed to continue yesterday’s trailer

Two Ana de Armas fans could be having their day in court after a judge rules movie studios can be sued for misleading trailers under bogus advertising laws.

On Tuesday, December 20, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson issued a ruling on the fans’ lawsuit filed in January against Universal Pictures.

In the lawsuit, Conour Wolfe and Peter Michael Rosza allege they each paid $3.99 (£3.29) to rent the studio’s 2019 romantic musical. Yesterday — about a global Beatles void — on Amazon Prime after seeing De Armas in the trailer, only to find the Cuban-Spanish actor had been cut from the final film.

Universal sought to dismiss the case, saying the trailers were entitled to free speech protections under the First Amendment. Lawyers for the studio argued that a trailer is a three-minute “artistic and expressive work” used to convey the film’s themes. It should therefore be considered as “non-commercial” speech.

However, the judge rejected that argument, ruling instead that a trailer is indeed commercial speech, making it subject to California’s misleading advertising law and unfair competition law.

“Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but that creativity doesn’t outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer,” Wilson wrote (via The variety). “Basically, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by giving consumers a preview of the movie.”

Universal’s briefing also argued that trailers have long included footage that doesn’t appear in the final cut, citing their previous trailer for jurassic parkwhich was made up entirely of clips that weren’t in the movie.

Himesh Patel and Ed Sheeran in “Yesterday” (Universal Pictures)

The studio also raised the risk of classifying the trailers as “commercial speech”, saying it could lead to “heavy litigation” whenever a “viewer claims to be disappointed about whether and how many people or scenes he had seen in the trailer were in the latest movie”; whether the movie fits the expected “genre”; or any “unlimited number of disappointments”.

Seeking to address the concern, the judge said the misleading advertising law would only apply where a “significant portion” of “reasonable consumers” could be misled.

“The Court’s decision is limited to depictions of whether an actress or scene is in the film, and nothing else,” Wilson wrote, saying it was plausible that viewers would expect De Armas plays an important role in the film, based on yesterday trailer.

Initially, De Armas was intended to feature a love interest for Himesh Patel’s lead character, Jack, but the film’s screenwriter, Richard Curtis, explained that she was ultimately cut because audiences didn’t like Jack’s estranged from his main love interest, played by Lily James. .

Jack was supposed to meet De Armas’ character during an appearance on James Corden’s talk show, where he would then serenade him with the Beatles track “Something.”

Woulfe and Rosza are seeking at least $5m (£4.1m) in damages and will represent a class of moviegoers. The case will proceed to discovery and a motion to classify it as a class action.

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