Shall we dive into a new topic I recently acquired too much information about?
Ramble of the Day
Over the last few months, I have learned of several frivolous lawsuits filed by moviegoers who were upset about differences in advertising and final product. I did not obtain this knowledge intentionally; I simply had the pleasure of stumbling upon recent news stories and realizing over a relatively short period of time and realized multiple people have done this.
I’ll start with the more recent one, which I think outlines the patterns of comedy from such lawsuits. Two fans of actress Ana de Armas are suing Universal because she got cut out of Yesterday despite featuring in advertising ahead of the film’s release. All of these lawsuits are inherently funny, because they go a little bit like this: the fans spent approximately $3.99 to watch Yesterday and are suing for $5 million. (These are real facts of the lawsuit!) The reasoning, no matter how seriously the writing is, is also naturally funny (via CNN):
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 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.
I do not question de Armas’ fame, especially compared to James and Patel. She has more than five million Instagram followers, significantly more than James’ three million and Patel’s 53,000 followers. the words “radiance” and “brilliance” are taken from Yesterday director Danny Boyle, who used the words to describe de Armas’ performance in an interview. (I think that’s a clever touch from the fans.) There’s seriousness and validity in the statement, which I think makes it simply hilarious. The effort is remarkable, and it’s also remarkable someone put this type of effort into the $4 they feel was a waste.
The $5 million would certainly make the lawsuit worth the effort and money spent on it, and I wonder if I’m one of the people who could benefit because I also saw Yesterday and did not like it. Granted, I did not watch it for de Armas and only just found out she was supposed to be in the movie so I may not get my money back. The CNN piece ends with a sign of bad news for the de Armas fans — someone once sued because Drive was not like The Fast and the Furious, and the case was dismissed.
Someone might be having better luck in India, to the point that the funny lawsuit becomes something I am actively disagreeing with. A moviegoer sued Yash Raj Films because the song “Jabra Fan” was cut out of the 2016 film Fan after being used in promotional materials, and India’s Supreme Court recently ruled in that moviegoer’s favor. What’s at stake? Rs. 10000, or about $134 as of yesterday’s conversion, which the moviegoer says she and her family spent on movie tickets.
There are several legitimate complaints here, both my own and by others. I’ve seen the fair criticism that the Supreme Court should probably be focused on other matters, and my sister made the point that it sets pretty bad precedent. Filmmakers should have the right to edit their films as they see fit, and they’ve done it all over the world without getting sued for it. (Trailer trash is real.) Songs are pretty important to the marketing materials of a Bollywood film, but “Jabra Fan” is also not the first to be cut from a film. (I went down the YouTube rabbit hole and can provide at least one example if you want it, or if Yash Raj Films wants the example for their legal battle.)
My lengthier, but not necessarily biggest complaint, is that “Jabra Fan” should not have been the reason anyone wanted to see Fan. The song is bad, even if I think it’s bad in a funny way. (There are English subtitles in the above video if you want to enjoy its horribleness.) The movie’s real selling point should be that Shah Rukh Khan is its star, and you don’t see a Shah Rukh Khan movie because of a song. You see a Shah Rukh Khan movie because Shah Rukh Khan, a remarkably gifted actor, is in it. (That said, I haven’t seen Fan — but I will!)
tl;dr: I accidentally know too much about ridiculous lawsuits filed about things cut out of movies. (I also accidentally wrote too much about this.)
Stay informed, read this: Laura Nelson, Connor Sheets, and Hannah Fry on sexual assault allegations against a track and football coach at California’s Mater Dei High School for the Los Angeles Times
Links of the Day
At least six people were killed in a stampede ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations match between Cameroon and Comoros.
Watford fired manager Claudio Ranieri, ending his three month spell with the club.
Leeds and West Yorkshire Police will review safety protocols after Newcastle supporters complained of overcrowding when trying to enter Elland Road on Saturday.
Portland Thorns reinstated Gavin Wilkinson as president of soccer following an internal investigation.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank signed a new deal with the club until 2025.
San Diego Wave signed Carly Telford from Chelsea.
A longer read: Nicky Bandini interviews AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli on the team’s rise, working with young players, and criticism from his mother for the Guardian