Yesterday: the complaint of spectators “deceived” by the absence of Ana de Armas was rejected

Lawsuit over “misleading” Yesterday trailer is over

After two years of proceedings, the trailer affair which made certain spectators believe that Ana de Armas was in the film is finally closed…

It’s a pretty astonishing affair that’s coming to an end. Two years ago, two Americans, Paul Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe, launched a mind-blowing lawsuit against Universal Studios, which they accused of having “poorly presented” the trailer for Yesterday, released in 2019. The reason? The presence of the actress Ana de Armas in the extract in question while the latter does not appear once in the projected film.

Last week, the two parties reached an agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed. But we can imagine that the time and money lost in this interminable trial surely ended up discouraging the plaintiffs and the studios. Two years later, “the affair Yesterday” is definitely a thing of the past.

They are suing Universal for “false trailer”!

An ode to the Beatles, the film is a light-hearted uchronia about Jack (Himesh Patel), an unsuccessful singer who wakes up after an unexplained blackout in a world where the Beatles never existed. He is therefore the only one who knows them. Stroke of luck for this artist who takes advantage of the situation to reappropriate the flagship songs of the Fab Four. With “Hey Jude” and “Let It be”, Jack builds his fame until he is offered a concert with Ed Sheeran. But nothing with Ana de Armas: Jack's romantic interest in the film is played by Lily James. If the director, Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 days later), feared more the reactions of the members of the Beatles and their loved ones, he was far from suspecting that the appearance of the actress from Blonde hair or Ghosted in the trailer for his film could cause so much noise.

Paul Michael and Conor claimed they wanted to rent Yesterday on Google Play after seeing Ana De Armas in an ad for Yesterday, for the modest sum of 3.99 dollars. Unpleasantly surprised not to find the actress who was cut during editing after the teams considered it unnecessary to maintain the scene (the hero of the film fell in love with her after meeting her on a TV set), the two men decided to file a complaint in California court and take legal action against Universal Studios, distributor of the feature film.

First, the plaintiffs questioned the integrity of the ad. The studios defended themselves by asserting that the trailers are artistic works protected by the First Amendment. The judge first rules in favor of Rosza and Woulfe. He declares :

“Universal understands that trailers require a certain amount of creativity and editorial discretion. But this creativity in no way takes away the commercial nature of a trailer. Originally, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a film by providing consumers with a preview of the film.”

A victory for the two men which nevertheless raises a question: if the trailers are advertisements, spectators could sue the studios each time a film does not live up to their expectations following 'a trailer.

Far from being satisfied with this success, the lawyers of the class action led by Cody R. LeJeune affirmed that all the spectators who bought a ticket to see the film or rented it, were ultimately deceived and must be reimbursed. A difficult figure to calculate… As for Universal, the studios have requested reimbursement of legal costs from the plaintiffs.

Last year, the prosecutor in charge of the case, Stephen Wilson, refused the two men's request for five million dollars in compensation. He declares : “Continuing debates on this subject would only be futile.” According to the studios, the best these men can receive is a refund of $7.98.

After spending two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a meaningless lawsuit for the Hollywood giant, a compromise was reached. But neither side seems satisfied with the outcome of this trial. For the plaintiffs, this shows once again that the Californian court is governed in favor of the film industry.

The case is officially over, but it will never truly be forgotten.

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