Friday, August 5, 2022

James Franco To Play Fidel Castro In ALINA OF CUBA

James Franco Picture

Oscar nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner James Franco has signed on to star as Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the biopic "Alina of Cuba" from director Miguel Bardem. The script is written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz.

The film will follow Alina Fernandez's life as Castro's illegitimate daughter and a critic of his reign in Cuba before leaving the country and defecting to Spain in 1993. Ana Villafane will star as Fernandez, while Mia Maestro will play Alina's mother Natalia Revuelta, the Cuban-born socialite who had a passionate affair with Castro.

The supporting cast also includes Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez. Franco's casting was supported by the real life Fernandez, who is serving the production as an on-set creative and biographical consultant.

Production is expected to begin on August 15th in Colombia. The movie is being shot entirely on location in and around Cartagena and Bogota.

John Martinez O'Felan, the project's lead creative producer of Austin-based Mankind Entertainment, said the following:
"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. 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. 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.".

O'Felan is also producing a companion documentary titled "Revolution's Daughter", directed by Thaddeus D. Matula. The film will shoot concurrently with "Alina of Cuba", and will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, featuring interviews with the real life Fernandez.

Franco will also appear in the post-war drama "Me, You" directed by Billie August.


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