Judge says Universal Studios can be sued for false advertising after Ana De Armas fans file federal lawsuit
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures
A judge in the US has ruled that movie studios can be sued over false advertising in film trailers.
The ruling came after two Ana de Armas fans launched a lawsuit against Universal Pictures after the actor appeared in the trailer but not in the actual film.
Conor Woulfe, from Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza, from San Diego County, California, both paid to rent the movie Yesterday on Amazon Prime.
They wanted to watch the film because de Armas appeared in the trailer, but they were left confused when they realised she wasn't in the film at all.
As a result, they launched a $5 million lawsuit against Universal Pictures.
And while the studio has argued that the case should be thrown out because trailers are 'artistic, expressive work', US District Judge Stephen Wilson has rejected this.
“Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but this creativity does not outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer,” he wrote.
“At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie."
Universal believe the lawsuit should be rejected under the First Amendment.
The studio's lawyers argued: “What is obvious about trailers generally and the Yesterday trailer in particular: they are expressive works in their own right and may not be relegated to a class of ‘purely commercial’ speech that receives watered-down First Amendment protection."
However, Judge Wilson ruled: “In sum, Universal has pointed to no non-commercial speech that could be intertwined with the trailer and, the inextricably intertwined exception to the commercial speech doctrine does not apply.
"Thus, because Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the trailer is false, commercial speech, Plaintiffs may proceed with their claims without offending the First Amendment.”
The movie, which was released back in 2019 follows musician Jack (played by Himesh Patel) who wakes up in a world where the Beatles never existed. He begins performing all of their best and most loved songs, leading him to becoming a superstar overnight.
While de Armas was originally supposed to star in the film as Roxanne, she was eventually cut after audiences disproved of the love triangle relationship between Jack, Ellie (played by Lily James) and Roxanne.
"That was a very traumatic cut, because she was brilliant in it. I mean really radiant. And [that] turned out to be the problem," screenwriter Curtis told Cinemablend in 2019.
"I think the audience likes the story [about Ellie and Jack] and goes with that, and it works out well. What we’d originally done was had, I don’t want to describe it too much, but had Ana de Armas as a complicating factor when he arrived in LA for the first time. And I think the audience did not like the fact that his eyes even strayed."
UNILAD has reached out to Universal Pictures for comment.
Topics: News, Film and TV