Casting Call: The Yankee Comandante

Published June 15, 2012

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

In December of 1957, an overweight American arrived in Cuba and headed for the Sierra Maestra Mountains, where Fidel Castro and his rebel forces were in hiding. The American (“El Americano”) was 29-year-old William Alexander Morgan, originally of Toledo, Ohio. Morgan had left behind his family in the US—a wife and two children, and well-to-do, Catholic, Republican parents. He would become one of two foreigners (the other being Che Guevara) to achieve the rank of “Comandante” in Castro’s army. Three years later a leaner, muscular Morgan would die at the hands of Castro’s firing squad. Morgan’s motives puzzled his family, the C.I.A., and Castro alike. According to David Grann’s May article in the New Yorker, Morgan was accused of being both an undercover C.I.A. agent and a Soviet spy; described as everything from an idealist, freedom fighter, defender of democracy, “modern-day Sinbad,” and “Holden Caulfield with a machine gun,” to “nomadic, egocentric, impulsive, and utterly irresponsible;” a “superannuated juvenile delinquent;” the ultimate shirker of familial responsibility.

Unsurprisingly, Focus Features has optioned Grann’s article, “The Yankee Comandante,” for the big screen with George Clooney set to direct. Before Clooney assembles his official cast, we thought we’d make some suggestions as to who should play whom.

For more Casting Calls click here.