Now that Fidel Castro is dead, be on the lookout for Hollywood as they try to cash in on the life and death of the murdering, ruthless Cuban dictator.
Prior to his death, a movie had been in the works about the real-life girlfriend of Castro, Marita Lorenz, with Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence playing the lead role. Lorenz had begun an affair with the dictator at the age of 19, later left Cuba to join an anti-communist movement, and was then recruited by the CIA in an attempt to assassinate her former lover, only to inform him of her plans. The movie is looking at a late 2017 release date. But production of the film could be moved up due to Castro’s death.
It will be interesting to see how Hollywood will portray the much hated dictator in this movie and others sure to come. Although Castro had the reputation of being a brutal and feared dictator among the Cuban people (especially among Cuban-Americans who were fortunate to get away), he had a string of friends in Hollywood that always spoke of him with such praise – Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg and of course his best bud, Sean Penn. The fact that this particular movie will focus on his relationship with Lorenz – a love story of sorts, if you will – could wind up painting the inhumane and heartless dictator as a man who has a heart.
There have been other documentaries and made about Castro, but even those were biased depending on the director’s views of the dictator. Oliver Stone created three documentaries, including Comandante, a film featured at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003 which focused on Stone’s interview with Castro. The film was to be released by HBO but due to incidents that intensified anti-Cuban sentiment in the United States, it was pulled at the last moment. Stone then went on to direct Looking for Fidel in 2004 and Castro in Winter in 2012, in which he returned to Cuba to interview Castro after he stepped down as president.
Steven Soderbergh directed a 4 and a half hour movie titled Che in 2008 which Kyle Smith of the New York Post mocked as presenting the murderous guerrilla as part Lincoln, part Jesus and proclaimed "You can't spell cliché without Che." When it first debuted, the film was welcomed with standing ovations in New York City and Havana, Cuba, but welcomed with protests when it debuted in Miami, Florida by a large population of the Cuban-American community. It grossed less than $1.5 million at the box office.
Now that embargo between the U.S. and Cuba has been lifted, it is said the movie’s creators are looking to film in Cuba. The film series Fast and Furious is also said to look at filming on the once forbidden island. Hollywood has certainly embraced all things Cuban, including its now dead former dictator.