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Fans sue Universal Pictures for cutting Ana de Armas from film

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By Hannah Ryan, CNN

Two fans of the actress Ana de Armas are suing the studio Universal Pictures for allegedly duping them into renting a film because they believed she would be in it due to trailers and promotional material.

Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza filed a federal class action lawsuit in the United States against Universal on Friday claiming that the advertising around the 2019 movie “Yesterday” was “false,” “deceptive” and “misleading” as de Armas does not appear in the final version of the film despite her inclusion in its marketing. The lawsuit was embedded in a report on the Variety entertainment news website.

Woulfe and Rosza say they each paid approximately $3.99 to rent “Yesterday” and claim that — if it weren’t for Universal’s “false, deceptive and misleading advertisting” — they would not have paid to view the movie.

The lawsuit says de Armas — who recently appeared in the latest James Bond outing “No Time To Die” — is “famous throughout America and the world because of her successful movie and other media appearances.” The plaintiffs claim Universal used de Armas’ “fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film by including her in scenes in the movie trailers advertising “Yesterday.”

The movie itself — directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle — is about an aspiring singer-songwriter, Jack, who discovers he’s the only person in the world that can remember the Beatles following a freak incident.

Jack then skyrockets to worldwide fame by claiming the band’s music as his own.

De Armas was due to appear as a love interest for the main character in “Yesterday” but her scenes were removed from the final cut.

The movie stars Himesh Patel and Lily James — whose fame the lawsuit claims Universal was “unable to rely on to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals,” which the plaintiffs say led the studio to use de Armas in promotional material to boost the film.

According to Boyle, de Armas’ performance in the original cut of the film was “brilliant” and the director also described her in an interview with Cinemablend as “radiant.”

The plaintiffs, both from San Diego County, California, are seeking at least $5 million in compensation on behalf of all affected customers.

CNN has contacted Universal for comment.

The lawsuit has similarities to a case in Michigan in 2011 concerning the Ryan Gosling movie “Drive.” The plaintiff alleged that the movie’s advertising materials made it seem as though it would be “a chase, race, or high speed action driving film” — similar to “The Fast and the Furious.” The plaintiff said the preview failed to reflect that the movie included “many segments of slow paced, interpersonal drama,” with moments of graphic violence. An appeals court dismissed the case in 2013.

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