Ana de Armas fans settle “Yesterday” trailer lawsuit

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A judge initially ruled in the fans’ favor in 2022.

Are misleading movie trailers here to stay?

Ana de Armas fans Peter Rosza and Conor Woulfe have reportedly settled their lawsuit against Universal for advertising the Knives Out star’s cut appearance in the film Yesterday, according to Variety. Reps for Universal and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to EW’s requests for comment.

Rosza and Woulfe first sued the studio in 2022 for including footage of de Armas in the trailers for the 2019 rom-com, out of which the No Time to Die actress was ultimately cut. The plaintiffs claimed that they only paid the $3.99 rental fee because they expected to see de Armas in the movie, and would not have spent their money on the film otherwise.

<p>Marc Piasecki/WireImage</p> Ana de Armas

Marc Piasecki/WireImage

Ana de Armas

A California judge initially ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that movie trailers should not be exempt from false advertising laws. Universal’s attorneys had argued that trailers are "artistic, expressive work" that should be considered protected free speech under the First Amendment, but U.S. District Judge Steven Wilson ruled, "Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but this creativity does not outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer. At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie."

Complications arose, however, when Universal fought to have the plaintiffs pay for a portion of the studio’s legal fees, which amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars — and the company did have a claim to the fees since the judge had dismissed some of the plaintiffs’ other claims. According to Variety, class action lawyer Cody R. LeJeune had argued that everyone who bought a ticket or paid a rental fee to watch Yesterday potentially deserved a payout. Judge Wilson later ruled that “Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification is patently inadequate” in August 2023.

Universal Ana de Armas in a trailer for 'Yesterday'
Universal Ana de Armas in a trailer for 'Yesterday'

Ultimately, both sides were unhappy with the outcome, according to Variety. They filed a joint notice of settlement on Friday with undisclosed terms.

Yesterday follows a struggling singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) who wakes up one day to discover that he’s the only person in the world with any memory of the Beatles’ music. By recording the Fab Four’s hits himself, the protagonist shoots to global stardom, which causes tension between him and his long-time love interest (Lily James). Writer Richard Curtis told CinemaBlend that de Armas had filmed scenes playing an alternative love interest for the main character. “I think the audience did not like the fact that his eyes even strayed,” he said. “You know, it's one of those things where it's some of our favorite scenes from the film, but we had to cut them for the sake of the whole."

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