Industry-Changing Ana de Armas $5 Million Fraud Lawsuit Dismissed by Judge

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Ana de Armas in Yesterday trailer, which caused a lawsuit

Credit: Universal Pictures

Actress Ana de Armas found herself the focus of a huge lawsuit last year for a movie that she did not even appear in, but a U.S. District Judge has aggressively dismissed the case to the relief of studios.

Himish Patel and Ana de Armas in a deleted scene from Yesterday
Credit: Universal Pictures

In 2022, two Ana de Armas fans named Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures, alleging that the trailer to the Danny Boyle-directed romantic comedy Yesterday (2019) led them to believe that the actress would have a prominent role in the film.

However, Ana de Arma’s role was cut from the final film. Accordingly, Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe’s lawsuit alleged: “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.”

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The Ana de Armas lawsuit accused Universal Pictures of false advertisement, unjust enrichment, and violating competition laws and requested $5 million in damages in the form of a class action suit on behalf of viewers of Yesterday in Maryland and California who felt injured by the lack of the Netflix Blonde actress in the movie.

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde
Ana de Armas in Blonde
Credit: Netflix

The suit went on to state, “Unable to rely on fame of the actors playing Jack Malik [Himesh Patel] or Ellie [Lily James] to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals, Defendant consequently used Ms. De Armas’s fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film by including her scenes in the movie trailers advertising Yesterday.”

However, (per The Hollywood Reporter) U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson dismissed the lawsuit as “self-inflicted,” meaning that Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe did not rely on statements from the studio that Ana de Armas would be in the movie and thus did not have legal standing to sue.

It didn’t help that Conor Woulfe also stated that he rented Yesterday a second time from Google Play on the apparent idea that Ana de Armas would show up in that version, which the judge felt he had no reason to believe, saying, “Plaintiff Woulfe has offered no explanation as to why he believed that version of Yesterday they accessed on Google Play would be a different version of the movie they accessed on Amazon.”

Ana de Armas and Chris Evans in Ghosted
Ana de Armas and Chris Evans in Ghosted
Credit: Apple TV+

Judge Wilson threw out the lawsuit, saying that it cannot be further amended. Basically, this means the lawsuit is over and done with, which must make major film studios very happy.

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The lawsuit was speculated to be potentially industry-changing. If allowed to proceed, it could have set a precedent that anything altered from an initial trailer to a final cut of the film was a trigger for fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits and could even strip free speech rights from studios.

Now, studios can breathe a sigh of relief and just get back to dealing with the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Do you think it was misleading to feature Ana de Armas in the Yesterday trailer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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