Movie Fans Can Sue Over Misleading Trailers, US Judge Rules | Movies

Movie fans disappointed that their favorite actor was cut from a movie after appearing in a trailer can sue the studio for false advertising, a US judge has ruled.

Two movie buffs say Universal Pictures tricked them into renting the 2019 flick Tomorrowland because the trailer featured actor Ana de Armas.

Peter Michael Rozza of San Diego and Connor Wolf of Maryland say they paid more than $3.99 each to watch a Richard Curtis comedy on Amazon Prime, only to find out that de Armas didn’t make the final cut.

A class action suit filed earlier this year alleges that fans expected the Cuban star of No Time to Die to feature prominently. However, they “could not find a film with any appearance of Ana de Armas”, says the suit, reported by US media on Friday.

Accordingly, “no value was provided to such consumers for their rental or purchase”, the suit added.

Ana de Armas in Los Angeles last month
Ana de Armas in Los Angeles last month. Photograph: Newspix International

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

But in his ruling Thursday, Wilson rejected the studio’s argument, saying the trailers were commercial speech and subject to the laws of fair advertising.

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

A representative for Universal could not immediately be reached.

The suit is claiming at least $5m on behalf of disappointed fans.

On April 3, the lawyers will meet again to hear the matter.

Danny Boyle’s Tomorrow tells the story of a musician, played by Himesh Patel, who finds himself thrust into an alternate reality where The Beatles do not exist.

He achieves global megastardom by releasing the Fab Four’s back catalog as his own.

De Armas, 34, who also appeared in 2019’s Knives Out, was originally cast in the film, and appeared in the trailer and some advertising, but his role did not make the final version, according to the suit.

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