How the trailer for 2019’s Yesterday is heading to a court case

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Universal is being sued for the trailer for 2019’s Yesterday, with a judge agreeing the case can go ahead. 

It’s been almost a year now since we reported on this story, where several disgruntled Californian cinema patrons launched a class action lawsuit against Universal, claiming that the trailer for 2019’s Yesterday was misleading. The problem? Ana de Armas features in the film’s trailer but her role was cut from the final movie.

The lawsuit states: ‘Although Defendant included the scenes with Ms. De Armas in the movie trailer advertisements, for the purposes of promoting Yesterday and enticing film sales and rentals, Ms. De Armas is not and was never in the publicly released version of the movie.’

Furthermore, the use of The Beatles’ track Something in the trailer, which also doesn’t appear in the final film, is named as a further complaint.

The accusers are seeking $5m in damages on behalf of the residents of California and Maryland who were ‘misled.’

Now a judge has ruled that the case can go ahead, despite protests from Universal that they are protected under the First Amendment Protection of ‘artistic, expressive work’ but the judge disagreed, stating that a trailer is commercial speech and therefore, subject to California’s False Advertising and Unfair Competition laws. This one then, is going to court.

This could have an impact on the way trailers are put together in the future, especially if it ends up costing the studio millions of dollars in a payout.

It’s likely that trailers, especially early ones such as teasers may have to be badged with some kind of disclaimer saying that it isn’t representative of the final product. We’ll bring you more on this story as it unfolds.


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