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James Franco will play Fidel Castro in a film directed by Spain’s Miguel Bardem, which will look at the life of his daughter Alina Fernandez, who has given her consent for the signing. The role, confirmed Thursday by the Hollywood Press, will mark Franco’s return to filmmaking after a series of sex scandals and abuse allegations led him to cancel his projects with major film studios.
The independently produced film will be titled “Alina of Cuba.” It will feature actress Ana Villafañe as the daughter of the leader of the Cuban Revolution and Mía Maestro as Natalia Revuelta, her mother.
The script will narrate Alina Fernández’s youth as Castro’s illegitimate daughter and her subsequent exile in Spain as an opponent of the Cuban regime.
According to Variety magazine, Fernandez herself, a film producer, chose Franco to play her father.
The choice is not without controversy since Franco is one of the names vetoed in Hollywood as a result of the allegations against him.
Since 2018, several women have accused Franco of sexual abuse. A group of students alleged that he took sexual advantage of female students attending his acting classes at the Studio 4 school.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2019 by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal. They signed up for his course in 2014 and claimed Franco taught lessons on sex scenes that consisted of simulated sex acts that went far beyond industry standards.
The complaint was joined by more students who indicated that the actor recorded some of the women in his rehearsals and approached young women promising work on Hollywood projects that never materialized.
As a result, Franco signed a settlement agreement with the victims under which he paid US$2.3 million to be distributed among those affected.
In addition to Bardem’s project, the actor will participate in the “Me, You” war drama by British filmmaker Billie August.