Making movies can be a chaotic process. They can be dramatically reworked in post-production, losing subplots, even whole characters. That’s what happened to Ana de Armas in Yesterday, the 2019 musical-comedy-romance in which an aspiring musician (Himesh Patel) awakens one day to find himself in a hellscape where The Beatles never existed. The increasingly popular actress wound up having all her scenes removed in the edit. But she still made a brief appearance in the trailer, causing some to rightly assume that she was in the finished film. She was not.
Now that’s getting Universal, who released it, sued. As per The Hollywood Reporter, two people — one from California, the other from Maryland — are suing the studio in a class action suit that alleges that they misled fans of the Cuban actress into watching a movie in which she does not appear.
“Although Defendant included the scenes with Ms. De Armas in the movie trailer advertisements, for the purposes of promoting Yesterday and enticing film sales and rentals, Ms. De Armas is not and was never in the publicly released version of the movie,” reads the complaint, which was filed in California federal court on Friday.
“Unable to rely on fame of the actors playing Jack Malik or Ellie to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals,” the complaint states, alluding to Patel and actress Lily James (soon to be seen as Pamela Anderson), “Defendant consequently used Ms. De Armas’s fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film by including her scenes in the movie trailers advertising Yesterday.”
De Armas was originally cast as a love interest for Patel’s character, who achieves fame passing off beloved Beatles songs as his own. But when test audiences found that the hero less sympathetic, they removed her entire subplot. The actress can still be seen in a scene from the trailer, in which Patel’s Jack appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
The complaint also points out the trailer used the song “Yesterday,” by George Harrison, which also doesn’t appear in the finished film.
Despite the lack of Ana de Armas, Yesterday went on to make a pretty penny, amassing $73.3 million in America and $80.4 million elsewhere for a combined total of $153.7 million. Meanwhile, in the real world, not only do we still have The Beatles, we even got an epic documentary where you get to watch them hang out and bang out some of their greatest songs before doing a killer roof show.