Ana De Armas Fans Sue Universal For False Advertising After Discovering Her Yesterday Scene Was Cut

Two apparently die-hard fans of Ana de Armas took to court this week, filing a federal class action lawsuit against Universal in regards to the actress' cut performance from the 2019 film "Yesterday" (per Variety).

In court documents obtained by the outlet, two plaintiffs — Maryland resident Conor Woulfe and California resident Peter Michael Rosza — accuse the studio of deceptive marketing. The suit alleges that both men viewed a trailer for Danny Boyle's film, which tells the story of an alternate world where no one has heard of The Beatles, then paid $3.99 to rent the movie on Amazon Prime. The trailer of the film featured de Armas, but the actress did not actually appear in the movie.

The plaintiffs are arguing via class action lawsuit that the studio engaged in "false, misleading, and deceptive" advertising by presenting de Armas in the trailer despite the fact that she doesn't appear in the movie. Their lawsuit also notes that streaming services like Amazon Prime are designed with trailers on the same screen as the purchase option, "so that consumers can make instant decisions to purchase or rent a movie, without consulting other sources." The two are seeking $5 million on behalf of any consumers who may have been similarly impacted.

It's All About A Movie Trailer

This might sound like a one-of-a-kind legal situation, but at least one other movie-viewer has actually filed suit over a misrepresentative trailer before. In 2011, a Michigan resident filed suit against FilmDistrict in response to a trailer for the film "Drive." In that case, the plaintiff argued that the trailer showed more action than the slow-burn movie itself. The suit somehow managed to go on for five years, and eventually evolved into something much messier.

It's certainly true that trailers can be misleading. Fans of de Armas expressed disappointment last year after a trailer for another film, "No Time To Die," featured her prominently despite her only briefly appearing in the movie. Big-budget studio movies are even known to digitally remove characters from scenes in order to maintain major surprises within their films. Misleading trailers have long-since been a norm in the film industry.

Actress Gabrielle Union also took to TikTok earlier this month to talk about her own experience with misleading trailers. She explained why a "Bring It On" trailer features scenes of her character's cheer group, the East Compton Clovers, that didn't actually appear in the film. The actress said that test audiences loved the Clovers, so the actresses were asked to shoot short scenes after the movie wrapped, simply for the use in promotional materials.

While this lawsuit in itself raises a lot of questions, it's also a good excuse to talk about who is valued in promotional edits versus final products, and why. "Yesterday" screenwriter Richard Curtis told CinemaBlend that de Arma's performance as a potential secondary love interest for protagonist Jack (Himesh Patel) was "really radiant," but that "the audience did not like the fact that [Jack's] eyes even strayed" from his love interest, Ellie (Lily James).

A love triangle seems like a pretty palatable plot device to me, but what do I know? At any rate, the fateful decision led to a trailer that featured de Armas and a final product that didn't. The suit claims that its plaintiffs "suffered injury-in-fact and lost money" when they rented "Yesterday" and de Armas was nowhere to be found.