John Leguizamo Isn't Happy with James Franco's Casting as Fidel Castro: "How Is This Still Going On?'

Franco was cast as Castro in 'Alina of Cuba' because he has "the closest facial likeness of our Industry's leading actors," per the film's creative producer

BY Kaelen BellPublished Aug 5, 2022

In what is perhaps the most perfect storm of competing discourses ever concocted, it was announced today that James Franco — who has been accused of sexually inappropriate conduct by multiple women and hasn't appeared in a film since 2019 — would be making his screen return portraying Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in a film called Aline of Cuba

People unsurprisingly have plenty to say about this casting choice, with complaints hinging mainly on the fact that Franco is an alleged sexual predator and that, obviously, he isn't Cuban. 

John Leguizamo also shares at least one of these concerns — posting a screenshot of Franco's casting announcement to his Instagram, Leguizamo wrote:

How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F'd up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement which would b wrong! I don't got a prob with Franco but he ain't Latino!

While Hollywood isn't exactly known for being in touch with pretty much anything happening in the real world, this casting decision kinda feels like intentional shit-stirring for a multitude of reasons. Or maybe it's just total ignorance, which would also make plenty of sense. 

Alina of Cuba is described as "Cuban exile turned social advocate" Alina Fernandez (Ana Villafañe), who is the daughter of Fidel Castro (Franco) and Natalia "Naty" Revuelta (Mía Maestro). John Martinez O'Felan, the film's lead creative producer, told Deadline that Franco was cast because he 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."

Alina of Cuba is slated to begin production on August 15 in Colombia. 

See Leguizamo's post below. 

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