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Movie fans can sue over misleading trailer, says US judge

Movie fans can sue over misleading trailer, says US judge

Movie fans can sue over misleading trailer, says US judge

Ana de Armas

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  • A US judge has ruled that movie fans can sue Universal Pictures for false advertising.
  • Two film aficionados allege that Universal duped them into renting “Yesterday”.
  • The lawsuit seeks compensation of at least $5 million on behalf of dissatisfied fans.
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A US judge has ruled that movie fans whose favourite actor was cut from a film after appearing in the trailer may sue the studio for false advertising.

Two film aficionados allege that Universal Pictures duped them into renting the 2019 film “Yesterday” because its trailer featured the actress Ana de Armas.

Peter Michael Rosza, 45, of San Diego, and Conor Woulfe, 39, of Maryland, say they paid $3.99 each to watch the Richard Curtis comedy on Amazon Prime, only to find out that de Armas was not included in the final cut.

A class action lawsuit filed earlier this year asserts that fans were led to believe that the Cuban “No Time To Die” actor would play a prominent role.

However, they “did not receive a movie with any appearance of Ana de Armas at all,” according to the lawsuit, which was reported by US media on Friday.

Accordingly, “such consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase,” according to the lawsuit.

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Universal had requested that US District Judge Stephen Wilson dismiss the complaint, arguing that trailers are protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech.

Wilson rejected the studio’s argument in his Thursday ruling, stating that trailers are commercial speech subject to laws governing truthful advertising.

“At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie,” the judge wrote.

AFP was unable to reach a representative of Universal immediately.

The lawsuit seeks compensation of at least $5 million on behalf of dissatisfied fans.

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On April 3, attorneys will re-argue the case.

Himesh Patel portrays a musician who is thrust into an alternate reality where The Beatles do not exist in “Yesterday” by Danny Boyle.

He becomes a global superstar by releasing the Beatles’ back catalogue as his own.

According to the lawsuit, De Armas, 34, who also appeared in “Knives Out” in 2019, was originally cast in the film and appeared in the trailer and certain advertising, but her role was cut from the final cut.

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