Two men who claimed to have been tricked into watching 'Yesterday' because Ana de Armas featured in the trailer have settled their false advertising case.

Ana de Armas was cut from Yesterday

Ana de Armas was cut from Yesterday

Peter Rosza and Conor Woulfe took legal action against Universal in 2022, alleging they were cheated out of $3.99 each after renting the Danny Boyle-directed movie on Amazon Prime only to discover the actress had been edited out of the final cut, and though a federal judge initially sided with them, various setbacks followed which left the movie fans owing the studio $126,705 in legal fees.

However, according to Variety, on Friday (12.04.24), the pair accepted a settlement that will resolve the case, but the terms have not been disclosed.

The case had seen Universal argue that if movie trailers were treated as advertising, then viewers would be able to sue every time they felt a film hadn't lived up to the teaser, but District Judge Stephen Wilson had rejected the argument and ruled they were "commercial speech" and so subject to false advertising laws.

However, the judge was unimpressed by Peter and Conor's class action lawyers, who were led by Cody R. LeJeune and had argued everyone who had bought a ticket to see the movie or rented it on any platform had potentially been duped after Ana appeared in the trailer and then had her scenes cut from the finished film after test screenings.

The judge ruled last August: “Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification is patently inadequate."

He dismissed other product liability claims but granted permission for the false advertising suit to go forward, but it wouldn't be worth much, with Universal estimating the most the fans could hope to get back was $7.98. The studio then filed a motion for attorneys' fees, with their lead lawyer charging $1,158.

Their total legal bill came to $672,000, of which the studio sought reimbursement of $472,000 after applying what they described as a "generous" reduction.

But the judge reduced the sum to $126,705, and explained: The judge saw it differently — “In the Court’s experience, modern law firms are neither eleemosynary nor altruistic."

Cody's former co-counsel, Matthew A. Pequignot attempted to reach a settlement in January, noting a renewed class action motion could succeed as Universal's own test screenings had shown the “trailer version with Ana de Armas was most appealing to consumers.”

But Universal's lawyers were unimpressed.

One wrote: “The attorneys who filed and sunk two years into this frivolous case are trying to pressure Universal into making a huge monetary payment (with no legal or factual basis) to end a case that is now worth $7.98."

She urged the judge to award another $43,000 for abuse of the discovery process and a hearing was set for 30 April ahead of a trial next month before both parties filed a joint notice of settlement, with the case now likely to be dismissed this week.