James Franco to play Fidel Castro in new film

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Actor James Franco is set to play the role of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a film about the leader’s daughter, Alina Fernandez.

Fernandez’s mother was Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, a staunch communist, who sacrificed her own possessions to fund the start of the movement. Fernandez learned at the age of 10 that she was Castro’s daughter and then became an outspoken critic of him until she was labeled a dissident by the government. Ultimately, she defected to Spain in 1993.

“Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro was a fun and challenging process and has been the collaborative work of the universe,” John Martinez O’Felan, lead creative producer for the movie, titled Alina of Cuba, said, “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.”

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James Franco

Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Franco has won two Golden Globes and is an Oscar-nominated actor. His most recent film was the 2019 animated movie Arctic Dogs. Ana Villafane will star as the titular character and Mia Maestro will play Castro’s love interest, Revuelta, while Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong, and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez star as supporting cast.

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The film does not yet have a release date but is expected to begin filming on Aug. 15.