Raiders of the Lost Footage

As a child of the ‘80s, I was a huge Harrison Ford fan. He played Han Solo in ‘Star Wars,’ Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. in the ‘Indiana Jones’ franchise, and Rick Deckard in ‘Blade Runner.’ He was in some of the absolute biggest movies of the decade.

In fact, Ford starred in half of the top 10 highest grossing movies of the ‘80s: Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Last Crusade and The Temple of Doom. The highest grossing movie of the decade, however, was ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.’ Oh, and he was in that, too.

Most people don’t realize that Ford starred as the principal of Elliot’s school, who reprimanded the boy after he set all the frogs in his science classroom free to save them from being dissected. At the time, he was dating E.T.’s screenwriter, Melissa Mathison, whom he later married, and agreed to film a cameo for his buddy, director Steven Spielberg.

Ford’s scene was left on the cutting room floor, however. Spielberg decided the scene felt forced and he was worried that the appearance of such a superstar would detract from the film’s story. Upon learning this, my buddies and I felt robbed – how cool would it have been to have seen the ‘80s’ greatest actor in the decade’s greatest movie?

I guess we’ll just have to get over it and move on. But that’s not what two Ana de Armas fans are doing.

The Cuban-born actress was featured in the trailer for the movie ‘Yesterday.’ The 2019 film is about Jack, an aspiring singer-songwriter, who strangely discovers he’s the only person in the world that can remember the Beatles following a freak incident. He then skyrockets to worldwide fame after claiming the band’s music as his own. De Armas was cast as Jack’s love interest.

Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza paid $3.99 to rent ‘Yesterday,’ but were shocked to discover that all of de Armas’ scenes were cut from the final version of the film. So, they sued Universal Pictures. For $5 million.

The pair filed a federal class action lawsuit in San Diego County against the studio. The suit claims that the advertising around ‘Yesterday’ was “false,” “deceptive” and “misleading” since de Armas does not appear in the final version of the film despite her inclusion in its marketing. They claim that they would have never rented the movie if it weren’t for Universal’s “false, deceptive and misleading advertising.”

The lawsuit asserts that de Armas is “famous throughout America and the world because of her successful movie and other media appearances.” The plaintiffs allege Universal used de Armas’ “fame, radiance and brilliance” to promote the film by including her in scenes in the movie’s trailer. They claim de Armas was featured in the trailer to garner interest in the movie, as Universal could not rely on the fame of the film’s stars, Himesh Patel and Lily James, “to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals.”

Universal is purportedly trying to settle the lawsuit, insisting that if the parties could just “Come Together,” “We Can Work It Out.” But the plaintiffs will not “Let It Be,” and reportedly are committed to “The Long and Winding Road” of litigation, as they hope to “Get Back” their money plus damages.

I would remind them that even if they win, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love.”

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Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

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