Moviegoers disappointed that their favorite actor was cut from a movie after appearing in the trailer can sue the studio for false advertising, a US judge has ruled.
Two moviegoers say Universal Pictures tricked them into praising 2019 film Yesterday because the trailer featured actress Ana de Armas.
San Diego’s Peter Michael Rosza and Maryland’s Conor Woulfe say they paid over $3.99 each to watch the Richard Curtis comedy on Amazon Prime, only to find de Armas hadn’t done the final cut.
A class action lawsuit filed earlier this year alleges fans were led to expect the Cuban No Time To Die star to feature prominently. However, they “did not receive a film at all with any appearance by Ana de Armas,” says the lawsuit, reported Friday by US media.
As a result, “these consumers received no value for their rental or purchase,” the lawsuit added.
Universal had asked U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the trailers are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees free speech.
But in his ruling Thursday, Wilson dismissed the studio’s argument, saying the trailers were commercial speech and subject to honest advertising laws.
“At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie,” Judge wrote.
A Universal representative could not immediately be reached.
The suit is claiming at least $5 million on behalf of disappointed fans.
The lawyers will meet again for the case on April 3.
Danny Boyle’s Yesterday tells the story of a musician, played by Himesh Patel, who is thrust into an alternate reality where the Beatles don’t exist.
He achieved worldwide stardom by publishing the Fab Four’s back catalog as his own.
De Armas, 34, who also appeared in 2019’s Knives Out, was originally cast in the film and appeared in the trailer and some commercials, but her role didn’t make the final release, according to the costume .