Jennifer Lawrence to Play Fidel Castro's Lover in New Biopic

Jennifer Lawrence has signed on to a new biopic — and this time, she'll tell the story of Fidel Castro’s former lover, Marita Lorenz. In the tentatively titled Marita, Lawrence will reportedly play the 19-year-old Lorenz, who fell in love with Castro in the ‘50s and was eventually approached by the CIA in a plot to assassinate the dictator.

Naturally, I read the news and went home to talk to my mother.  Like many others living in Miami, my mother was born in Cuba and at a tender age moved to Miami for political reasons. Though she has lived nearly her entire life in Miami, she never let go of her Caribbean roots. She never stopped being Cuban.

When I asked her about Lorenz and if she had heard about the news regarding Lawrence playing her, my mother's usual happy demeanor faltered a bit as she said, “Oh, yeah, I read about that.”

My mother’s initial reaction doesn’t mean she’s not a fan of Lawrence’s work, but the idea of essentially glorifying Castro — the usual for Hollywood — is not something Cuban-Americans take lightly.

“I was only a child back then, so I don’t remember much about Marita,” my mother continues. “All I know is that she was one of his foreign lovers.”

The story will loosely follow Lorenz’s 1993 autobiography, Marita, which she co-wrote with Ted Schwarz and, according to its Amazon listing, details “a fast-moving true story of Marita Lorenz, her love affair with Fidel Castro, and her work for — and betrayal by — the CIA.” Sounds like it was made to be a movie.

There are few details regarding the Sony-bought script, but as Hollywood Reporter puts it: “Marita centers on Lorenz and how she met and began an affair with Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1959 when she was 19 years old. After living with Castro for a spell, Lorenz left Cuba and joined anti-communists in the U.S., where she was recruited by the CIA for an assassination mission. In 1960, she returned to Cuba to carry out the mission but, according to lore, yielded to love.”

Because the film will be told from Lorenz’s point of view — a woman who was completely enamored by Castro — it’s hard not to write Castro as an attractive leader. But Miamians know the man to be far from that description.

“I wonder who they will get to play Castro,” said my mother, her eyes looking off into a distance I can’t imagine. A smile crept onto her face moments later and she added coyly, “I hope it’s Oscar Isaac!”

Lawrence is incredibly talented, and as Funny or Die points out in its "Old Lady Who Looks Really Young & Hot Starring Jennifer Lawrence" video, the actress can play a range of ages — from a teen in The Hunger Games to a 40-year-old mother in Joy — and her list of awards and nominations stands as testament.

Aside from reuniting Lawrence with American Hustle screenwriter Eric Warren Singer, Marita will also see the actress step into the offscreen role of producer, E! reports.

Marita is tentatively slated to be released in 2017. 
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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.