CA Judge Rules That Studios Can Be Sued For Deceptive Movie Trailers
Did you ever see the movie Yesterday (pictured above)? According to a plaintiff who is suing Universal, the trailer for that film featured actress Ana de Armas, but she never appears in the final cut. So they are taking it to court.
According to Entertainment Weekly, on Tuesday, a California judge allowed parts of the case to proceed because a trailer “constitutes commercial speech” and therefore not protected by the First Amendment. Basically, false advertising.
It all started in January when Paul Michael Rosza and Conor Woulfe began the lawsuit against Universal, claiming they rented the film Yesterday based on the assumption de Armas would be in it, but unbeknownst to them, the actress’ scenes were cut even though she is in the trailer.
Universal’s lawyers argued that a movie trailer is covered under the First Amendment because they are an “artistic, expressive work.”
U.S. District Judge Steven Wilson disagreed, and according to Deadline, he basically compared it to a bait and switch. “Universal is correct that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but this creativity does not outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer. At its core, a trailer is an advertisement designed to sell a movie by providing consumers with a preview of the movie,” Judge Wilson said.
He added, “the Court’s holding is limited to representations as to whether an actress or scene is in the movie, and nothing else.”
The case will now move to discovery in which both parties will exchange information and who and what they will present at the trial. this could potentially lead to a class action lawsuit.
Although not as blatant as the Yesterday scenario, some fans of the newest Halloween (also Universal) franchise were a bit upset that the iconic movie monster Michael Myers has less screen time in the final film Halloween Ends than the trailer or poster implies.
According to Digital Trends, Michael is on screen for 10 minutes and 55 seconds of the film’s 111-minute runtime. The rest is dedicated to a character barely present in the trailers. To be fair, in the original 1978 movie Myers only appears for 9 minutes and 37 seconds.
That scenario probably doesn’t fall under the same false advertising accusations of the Yesterday lawsuit, but it does give moviegoers pause to question whether or not a trailer is an apt representation of what intrigues them to buy a ticket.
In the age of the spoiler, studios are more cautious about revealing too much in a trailer so as to not give viewers enough to connect the dots, especially if there is a twist or a major reveal.
Throughout the years, trailers have often included scenes that aren’t in the theatrical cut of the film. But until now, no one has ever been litigious about it. This case might have widespread effects across the movie industry depending on how it is resolved.
What do you think? Should the trailer contain everything that’s in the movie?
*Header image credit: Universal/Jonathan Prime
‘King On Screen’ Trailer – A New Stephen King Documentary, Coming Soon
Today the official trailer has been released for a new documentary, King on Screen, that Dark Star Pictures has acquired the North American rights.
Over the years, Stephen King has gained recognition as an immensely popular and prolific author known for his mastery of horror, supernatural, and suspense. His writing style is often characterized by vivid descriptions and compelling characters, and he just has an overall knack for building that suspense that we’ve all come to enjoy.
King has the ability to create a sense of unease and terror in everyday settings; this has become quite a hallmark for the author. The dark side of human nature and how people treat each other is another trademark King often delivers within his characters.
The Synopsis: 1976; Brian de Palma directs Carrie, the first novel by Stephen King. Since then, more than 50 directors have adapted the master of horror’s books into more than 80 films and series, making him the most adapted author alive in the world. What’s so fascinating about him that filmmakers cannot stop adapting his works? KING ON SCREEN reunites the filmmakers that have adapted Stephen King’s books for cinema and TV, including Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead), Tom Holland (The Langoliers, Chucky), Mick Garris (The Stand, Sleepwalkers) and Taylor Hackford (Dolores Claiborne, Ray). It is a movie made for the fans and with the fans, led by an international ambition.
Interviews also include Tim Curry, James Can, Dee Wallace, Mark L. Lester, Mike Flanagan, Vincenzo Natali, and Greg Nicotero. Directed by Daphné Baiwir
The documentary will be in select theaters on August 11, 2023, and On Demand and Blu-Ray on September 8, 2023.
A New Supernatural Thriller – ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ Is In The Works
A new supernatural thriller, Hell Hath No Fury, is currently in the works. (not to be confused with the 2021 film with the same title). Miles Crawford (Babylon), Sharlene Rädlein (Spinning Out of Control), Brooke Butler (Ozark), Jamie Zevallos (The Skulleton), and Lorenzo Antonucci (Paradise City) have signed on to the Karbis Sarafyan and Andrew Pearce-produced thriller film.
Written by Dennis Wilder and directed by Rustam Vakilov, Hell Hath No Fury follows Aidan (Crawford), an agnostic psychiatrist who runs a residential facility while grieving the loss of his newborn child with his wife. When one of his patients is brutally murdered just as a beautiful new employee comes into his life, he tries to balance saving his marriage with preventing the facility from closing. As the story progresses, Aidan must confront his own lack of faith as he realizes that these frightening new circumstances are anything but natural.
“The plot features a thrilling mix of psychological drama, horror, and supernatural elements that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats,” said producer Sarafyan. “It is a stroy about grief, faith, and the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most challenigng obstacles.”
Not much more is known about this new thriller. Check out the cast’s photos below, and check back with iHorror.com for more information on Hell Hath No Fury.
5 New Horror Movies You Can Stream Starting This Week
I am old enough to remember when after a new horror movie’s theatrical release, you would have to wait six months before you could find it at the local video store. That’s if they even released in the area where you lived.
Some movies were viewed once and lost into the void forever. They were very dark times. Fortunately for us, streaming services have cut that wait down to a fraction of the time. This week we have some big hitters coming to VOD, so let’s jump right in.
* An update has been made to this article. The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster will be released in theaters June 9th and will be released on digital on demand services June 23rd.
Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story
Ok, so this isn’t technically a horror movie, it’s a documentary. That said, it should still be on all horror fan’s watch list this week. This documentary is about one of horror’s largest icons. The man who haunts all of our dreams, Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street).
Not only is the source material amazing, but we have two great co-directors heading this endeavor. Gary Smart (Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser) and Christopher Griffiths (Pennywise: The Story of It) have made a name for themselves in the horror community for providing in-depth analysis of some of the greatest horror films ever made.
Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story will be streaming via Screambox on June 6th. If you want to know more about this documentary before watching it, check out our interview with Gary Smart and Christopher Griffiths here.
Nicolas Cage (The Wicker Man) is really hard to put a label on. He has been in so many terrific films, while also ruining one of the greatest folk horror films ever made. For better or worse, his over-the-top acting has placed him in a special place in the hearts of many.
In this iteration of Dracula, he is joined by Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), and Awkwafina (The Little Mermaid). Renfield looks to be a more lighthearted take on the classic Bram Stoker tale. We can only hope that the awkward lovable style of Hoult mingles well with the zaniness that Cage is known for. Renfield will be streaming on Peacock June 9th.
Tony Todd (Candy Man) is one of horror’s greatest living icons. The man has a way of making evil sexy in an unmatched way. Joining Tony in this period piece is the marvelous Sheri Davis (The Amityville Moon).
This one feels fairly cut and dry. We get some old-timey racism which leads to a curse that haunts the land to this day. Mix in some voodoo for good measure and we have ourselves a horror movie. If you want an older feel to your new horror movie, this one’s for you. Devilreaux will be released to video on demand services on June 9th.
If you aren’t already subscribed to Shudder, now is the time to try out a free trial. That said, all horror fans should still have it on their watch list this week.. But they normally include some of the standout horror films of the year.
Brooklyn 45 looks like it is going to be one of the good ones. Already receiving massive praise before its release, the hype on this one has me excited. Starring Anne Ramsey (The Taking of Deborah Logan), Ron Rains (Teacher), and Jeremy Holm (Mr. Robot). Brooklyn 45 is my most anticipated new horror film this week. Brooklyn 45 will hit shudder June 9th.
She Came from the Woods
Tubi has been playing its hand at making its own horror films for a while now. Up until this point they have been less than stellar. But after seeing the trailer for She Came from the Woods, I have hope that’s all about to change.
This film isn’t giving us anything new, it’s an old camp legend gone awry. But what it is giving us is William Sadler (Tales from the Crypt) right back where he belongs. Fighting ghosts with a shotgun and loving every minute of it. If you are looking for a new horror movie that is easy to digest, this is the one for you. She Came from the Woods will hit Tubi June 10th.