A Judge Said Movie Studios Can Be Sued For False Advertising In Trailers After A Pair Of Ana De Armas Fans Filed A Federal Lawsuit

Two fans of the actor said they only rented the film Yesterday because of its allegedly misleading promotion.

Two Ana de Armas fans can continue their lawsuit against Universal Pictures after a federal judge ruled Tuesday that movie studios can be sued over false advertising in film trailers.

Conor Woulfe, who is from Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza of San Diego County, California, each paid $3.99 to rent Yesterday on Amazon Prime because de Armas appeared in the film’s trailer. They were disappointed to find she wasn’t in the film and have since January been pursuing a $5 million lawsuit as representatives of a class of movie customers who were deceived by the trailer.

On Tuesday, they cleared a hurdle when US District Judge Stephen Wilson issued an order rejecting Universal’s attempt to dismiss the entire case.

Universal had argued that the lawsuit should be thrown out because movie trailers should be protected under the First Amendment. They called the trailer an “artistic, expressive work” that conveys the theme of the film — not simply a commercial that would be covered by rules against false advertising.

“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,” lawyers for Universal argued in a motion.

Lawyers for Woulfe and Rosza, meanwhile, said the two have never seen an actor present in a trailer who wasn’t also in the film. The judge allowed their allegations that Universal had violated California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws to continue to move forward in court.

Yesterday, which was released in 2019, follows a struggling musician (Himesh Patel) who wakes up in an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed.

De Armas was initially set to have a major role in the film as part of a love triangle involving Patel and Lily James, but writer Richard Curtis told Cinemablend that she was cut out after test audiences expressed distaste for Patel ​​straying away from James.

Woulfe and Rosza’s lawsuit, which describes de Armas as a "talented, successful, and famous actress," also accuses Universal of exploiting her "fame, radiance, and brilliance to promote the film" because every other actor in the film had a "largely unknown" status.

Representatives for de Armas and lawyers for Universal and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.

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