Two fans of Ana de Armas, Peter Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe, last year won the ability to take Universal to court over a “misleading trailer” for the film Yesterday. The trailer they saw featured de Armas, but the movie they watched did not. The main argument they gave was: are trailers artistic expression, or commercials?
The U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson agreed that trailers might have had artistic merit but the ultimate goal was one of commercial pursuit; to convince an audience to purchase something. Under this ruling, Wilson allowed the suit to go forward. However, Wilson has now ruled that while the argument to bring the suit is valid, the two plaintiffs don’t really have a strong enough case, and has dismissed the suit.
His decision hinged on the idea that this was a “self-inflicted injury.” Watching once might have allowed for a feasible argument, but Woulfe watched the movie a second time, and there was not sufficient evidence that he “reasonably relied on any misrepresentation” when watching a second time. There is still that first ruling—that if you want to attempt to prove that a trailer was maliciously deceitful, you could file some paperwork and take the studio to court. It seems like it would be a hard sell, frankly, but there’s a weird little precedent now—especially in an age where certain studios have made it their thing to curate trailer-specific material to throw off spoilers and speculation, or just to purvey a certain vibe.
One of the trailers that shows de Armas is still available on the official Universal YouTube page. de Armas appears for about 10ish seconds starting at the two minute mark. Would that convince you to rent a film, twice, in the hopes that de Armas would be in a significant role?
You can read the full dismissal below.
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