Photo: Harper’s Bazaar
It seems that the entertainment industry just can’t take a break from all the commotions that its fans are bringing to the table. Just recently, two uncompromising fans of the actress Ana de Armas are reportedly suing Universal Pictures, an American film production and distribution company owned by Comcast, after allegedly duping them into renting a film that they presumed de Armas was going to be in on an account that she was seen in its trailers and through its numerous promotional materials.
Conor Woulfe, 38, of Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza, 44, of San Diego County, California, have filed a federal class-action lawsuit in the United States against the production behemoth on Friday after asserting that the advertising around the 2019 movie Yesterday was in their words “false, deceptive, and misleading” considering that de Armas does not in any way appear in the final version of the film despite being included numerous times during the movie’s marketing phase.
According to the two individuals, they each paid $3.99 to rent the movie on Amazon Prime only to find out that the Knives Out actress was nowhere to be found.
Yesterday is directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle with a premise that revolves around the unconventional plot of having the Beatles erased from existence. The movie follows the bizarre story of singer-songwriter Jack Malik, who discovers that he may be the only person in the whole world that has a recollection of the Beatles after a freaky incident. Jack then catapults himself to worldwide fame by claiming the famous band’s music as his own. De Armas was set to surface as the main character’s love interest, Roxane, who was supposed to be introduced to Malik on a talk show.
For many critics, the plot was far-fetched yet enjoyable. But it seems that the plot was not the only thing that went too far following how the production company completely removed de Armas from the movie’s final cut. According to the movie’s screenwriter, Richard Curtis, in his interview with Cinema Blend, many in the audience weren’t really in favor of the idea that Malik strays from his primary love interest in the movie.
“That was a very traumatic cut because she was brilliant in it. I mean really radiant,” Curtis explains. “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.
The class-action lawsuit seeks to reimburse at least $5 million for the account of many affected patrons.
“Because consumers were promised a movie with Ana de Armas by the trailer for Yesterday, but did not receive a movie with any appearance of Ana de Armas at all, such consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase,” the lawsuit states.
In addition, the lawsuit also claims that two of the movie’s leading actors, Himesh Patel and Lily James were “largely unknown” and that Universal Pictures itself “could not rely on their fame to promote the movie to entice viewership” and “used de Armas’ fame, radiance, and brilliance to promote the film.”
The lawsuit has a striking resemblance to the 2011 Michigan case relating to a Ryan Gosling movie called Drive. According to the plaintiff, the movie’s marketing materials made it seem that it would be a high-speed action-driving film, but he did not expect it to have “many segments of slow-paced, interpersonal drama.” The court dismissed the case in 2013.