James Franco cast as Fidel Castro in new indie film Alina Of Cuba, all the details

·3-min read
James Franco cast as Fidel Castro in new indie film Alina Of Cuba, all the details

Oscar nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner James Franco will play Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the new indie film Alina Of Cuba, about the Cuban revolutionary’s daughter, Alina Fernandez.

Created by Spanish film director and screenwriter Miguel Bardem, the project is the latest of multiple live-action films the actor has recently signed on to, after taking a break from acting following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Last month, he also landed a leading role in the post-World War II drama “Me, You” with Tom Hollander and Daisy Jacob.

On casting Franco for the role of Fidel Castro, John Martinez O’Felan, the project’s lead creative producer of Austin-based Mankind Entertainment, says that it wasn’t easy.

“Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro, was a fun and challenging process and has been the collaborative work of the universe, because our director’s original order was to find an actor who holds a close physical resemblance to the real Castro to build from, along with finding someone Alina Fernandez would strongly endorse,” he said.

“To get there on such a tough look to cast, we used Fidel Castro’s ancient Galician heraldry as our focal compass, and then combed through the entire ranks of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood to find someone who has a similar facial structure.”

He added: “In executing a close search into our hopefuls through the eye of Spanish and Portuguese genealogy which the Galicians held, we found that James, by far, had the closest facial likeness of our Industry’s leading actors, meaning that the focus would be to build out his character accent and we’d have a stunning on-screen match to intrigue audiences and bring the story to life with true visual integrity.

“Altogether, working with such a supportive and exciting cast has been a true blessing to our team and project.”

So, what else do we know about the film? Here are all the details that have trickled in.

What is Alina of Cuba about?

The independent film is said to closely follow the screenplay by Oscar-nominated scribe Jose Rivera (who is behind The Motorcycle Diaries) and Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz. It’s about the true-life story of Cuban exile turned social advocate, Alina Fernandez, whose birth was the result of the tryst between Natalia Revuelta Clews and Fidel Castro.

The story unfolds as Revuelta Clews sacrifices her and her physician husband’s personal belongings and finances to help fund the start of the communist revolution. Fernandez learns that she was Fidel Castro’s daughter at the age of 10 when after years of secret visits to her home, her mother finally reveals that “El Comandante” is her biological father.

Alina grows to become one of Castro’s most outspoken critics, arrested on more than one occasion for trying to leave and is classified as a dissident forbidden to travel outside of Cuba. Ultimately, she flees to Spain (in 1993), an event that drew headlines from every major news network around the world, before she makes Miami her permanent home.

When is Alina of Cuba being released?

There is no release date for Alina of Cuba just yet, as the film is still in production, but cameras will start rolling on August 15 in and around Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia.

What else has James Franco acted in?

James Franco has had a longstanding career.

He is known for his first prominent role as Daniel Desario on the comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000). You might also remember him from the Spider-Man trilogy where he played Harry Osborn, the son of the villainous Green Goblin (2002-2007).

As well as Eat, Pray, Love, Rise of the Planet of the Apes – and more recently in HBO drama The Deuce (2017-2019).

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