Antonio Banderas, pictured in Malaga last week. :: EDUARDO NIETO
Antonio Banderas has revealed that he is not prepared “to let slip” the opportunity to play Picasso and that “the moment has come” for him to star in the film called ‘33 days’, a movie that represents the amount of time that it took Picasso to create his masterpiece, Guernica.
The project was announced two years ago but there have since been legal problems that have prevented filming from starting. However, this week Banderas stated that the problems are being solved and a step forward has been taken to produce the movie that will be directed by Carlos Saura. There are now plans to begin filming in the spring of 2015.
The decision by Banderas to play the role has resulted in a fundamental shift in the film. Instead of being inFrench and Spanish - the authentic languages of the events - it will be in English. “It is very difficult to achieve international success when a movie is not in English,” said Banderas as he visited Malaga last week.
The project is almost finalised with Gwyneth Paltrow set to play Picasso’s lover Dora Maar. The green light is awaiting the result of legal difficulties. “The previous producer filed for bankruptcy. We are trying to resolve the case in our favour and we hope that a solution will be found quickly because these things can sometimes take a while to complete,” stated Banderas.
‘33 days’ was originally a documentary idea of the late Spanish screenwriter Elías Querejeta but will now be a feature length film and will be the second time that Banderas and Saura have collaborated together. “Although I have previously rejected the idea of playing Picasso, the moment in my life has arrived in which Iunderstand Picasso and I am almost the same age as he was when the events took place,” stated the 53 year-old actor. Picasso was 55 or 56 when he painted Guernica in 1937.
The monochrome painting was Picasso’s response to the bombing of the Basque town of the same name by the German Condor Legion at the height of the Spanish Civil War.