The actor John Leguizamo is angry that James Franco was cast to play famed Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in an upcoming film. Leguizamo explained: “How is it possible that it goes on like this? How is it possible that Hollywood excludes us and also steals our stories? Enough with the appropriation by Hollywood and streaming platforms! Let’s boycott! This is wrong! Plus it’s a hard story to tell without exaltation, which would be wrong! I have no problems with Franco, but he is not Latin! ”.
There have been several Hollywood films over the past decade that have seen threats of boycott for “appropriation” or “whitewashing” in casting, including Ghost in the Shell, who cast Scarlett Johansson for the role of an Asian character in the source material. We also remember the live-action adaptation of the manga and anime Death Note, which saw a strong backlash for transplanting the story from Japan to America.
The title of the film is Alina of Cuba by Miguel Bardem. The winner of the Imagen Mía Maestro award will play Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, the Cuban-born socialite with whom she has a passionate love affair.
Production of the film will begin on August 15th
They join the previously announced actress Ana Villafañe who plays Alina Fernandez aka Castro’s daughter. The screenplay by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries) and Pulitzer Prize-winning Nilo Cruz follows the true story of Cuban exile turned social advocate, Fernandez, whose birth was the result of the meeting between Revuelta and Castro . Revuelta sacrificed her personal belongings and her doctor husband’s finances to help finance the start of the communist revolution.
To complete the supporting cast there are Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero (Encanto), Harding Junior and Cuban actors Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez. The film is shot entirely on location in and around Cartagena and Bogota, with Spanish colonial architecture and Colombian design sounding for Castro-era Havana, Cuba. Production will start on August 15th.