Hollywood distribution giant Universal Studios has been dragged into controversy after two men filed a federal class action lawsuit against them alleging that the studio had used shots of Cuban-Spanish actress Ana De Armas in the trailer for their film 'Yesterday' but did not feature the actress in the actual film.
Conor Woulfe, 38, of Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza, 44, of San Diego County, California, said they each paid $3.99 to rent the movie on Amazon Prime, only to discover that De Armas was removed from the final cut of the film, Variety reported.
The two men have alleged that Universal Studios used deceptive marketing to get people to watch the film by using the actress as bait. They are demanding $5 million as compensation.
"Because consumers were promised a movie with Ana De Armas by the trailer for 'Yesterday,' but did not receive a movie with any appearance of Ana de Armas at all, such consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase," the lawsuit states.
"Yesterday" stars Himesh Patel as Jack Malik, a singer-songwriter who, through a supernatural occurrence, is the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles. Malik rockets to stardom by claiming credit for their songs. Ana de Armas was initially cast as a secondary love interest for Patel, though her scenes did not make it to the final cut of the film.
Screenwriter Richard Curtis was quoted in a CinemaBlend interview as justifying the cut as audiences would not have appreciated Patel's character straying from his primary love interest played by Lily James.
"That was a very traumatic cut, because she was brilliant in it. I mean really radiant. And [that] turned out to be the problem. … I think the audience likes the story [about Ellie and Jack] and goes with that, and it works out well," Curtis said.
Universal Studios has not made a public statement regarding the issue.