Universal will not have to face a lawsuit accusing the studio of tricking people into watching Yesterday by featuring Ana de Armas in trailers, though she didn’t actually appear in the movie.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson found on Monday that plaintiffs can’t pursue the proposed class action because they didn’t rely on alleged misrepresentations from the studio when making the decision to watch the film.
Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe alleged in a suit filed last year that they watched the trailer for Yesterday and thought that de Armas played a substantial role in the romantic comedy. But upon renting it, they discovered that she doesn’t show up in the movie. The complaint pointed to misrepresentations that the actress is listed as a castmember in search results.
But the court found that Woulfe, who rented the movie a second time on Google Play under the belief that de Armas could appear in a director’s cut, “lacks standing” to bring a suit because his “injury is self-inflicted.” Wilson concluded Woulfe didn’t watch Yesterday because of statements from Universal that de Armas appears in the movie. He also found that there was no reason to believe that the “version of Yesterday they accessed on Google Play would be a different version of the movie” than the one they watched the first time.
De Armas was initially cast to appear as a love interest for Himesh Patel, but her scenes were cut in the final version of the film. The trailer prominently displays her and Patel on the set of James Corden’s talk show.
“Unable to rely on fame of the actors playing Jack Malik or Ellie to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals, Defendant consequently used Ms. De Armas’s fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film by including her scenes in the movie trailers advertising Yesterday,” the complaint stated.
The suit claimed false advertisement, unjust enrichment and violation of unfair competition.