We've all seen trailers with scenes that don't end up in the final cut of the movie. That's often a result of reshoots, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2015's Fantastic Four both good examples of blockbusters that ended up looking vastly different in theatres than they did in any early sneak peeks.
However, studios may have to start thinking twice about how they promote upcoming titles after a U.S. District Judge has ruled that they can be sued for false advertising if they release deceptive trailers.
The decision was made when two filmgoers decided to file a lawsuit after watching Danny Boyle's Yesterday. After seeing No Time to Die star Ana de Armas in the trailer, they decided to rent the movie, only to learn she had been cut from the final product (the actress had been set to play a love interest, but was deemed superfluous to the story).
Universal tried to fight back by saying movie trailers are protected under the First Amendment and should be viewed as an "artistic, expressive work" akin to a three-minute story rather than a commercial. The Judge disagreed, and we now find ourselves in a very bizarre position.
So, does this mean you can sue Disney and Marvel Studios because Avengers: Infinity War didn't include The Hulk racing into battle alongside the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes?
According to the ruling, false advertising will only apply when "significant portions" of a trailer don't make it into a movie, meaning it will need to be more than the odd alternate scene or two. As for the two de Armas fans, they're part of a class action seeking $5 million in damages after paying a mere $3.99 to rent Yesterday.
We'll see how this story develops, but this may set a dangerous precedent. On the plus side, it could force studios to be a little more careful when it comes to how movies are marketed, ensuring what they promote matches the finished product.