James Franco hasn’t appeared in a film since 2019, but the actor, who was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by multiple women (leading to a $2.2 million settlement), is planning his comeback… by portraying Cuban leader Fidel Castro? Huh.
Alina of Cuba follows “Cuban exile turned social advocate” Alina Fernandez (Ana Villafañe), the daughter of Fidel Castro (Franco) and Natalia “Naty” Revuelta (Mía Maestro). John Martinez O’Felan, the project’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.”
John Leguizamo thinks this is “f’d up.” In response to the casting announcement, the Encanto star wrote on Instagram, “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!” Leguizamo added that it’s a “seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement which would b wrong! I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!”
If you’re thinking of replying to Leguizamo’s post with, “Franco can’t play Fidel Castro, but it was fine when you played Italian icon, Luigi,” please don’t.