Banderas confirms he'll be taking on Picasso double role

Actor Antonio Banderas, at the Deauville Festival in France last week.
Actor Antonio Banderas, at the Deauville Festival in France last week. / Charly Triballeau. afp
  • The actor announced that he will be playing his fellow Malagueño in the National Geographic series, 'Genius', in 2018

Antonio Banderas has been announced as the star of the second series of National Geographic and Fox television show Genius, which will focus on the life of Pablo Picasso. Appearing at the Deauville Festival in France last week, Banderas confirmed that he would be taking on the role of the painter who has always fascinated him and with whom he shares a birthplace.

The Malaga-born actor attended the festival to launch his latest film, the Andrea Bocelli biopic The Music of Silence. There he revealed that the ten-episode series will start shooting for five months in November. The first episode should be released in April or May 2018.

When this casting announcement was made last week, there was speculation over whether Banderas had abandoned another Picasso film project, 33 Days, in which he was to have a starring and producing role under the direction of Carlos Saura.

He has since explained that his involvement in the television series does not mean that he is abandoning Saura’s film, merely pushing it back slightly.

When confirming the news of his double role, Banderas said that the life of Picasso has always been a part of his own life. He said that the two projects were “completely different”. In Genius, the actor will be embodying the painter throughout his entire life, whereas in 33 Days he will play Picasso during the time it took the artist to create his masterpiece, Guernica.

The first series of Genius revolved around the life of Albert Einstein and was extremely successful, being nominated for ten Emmy awards.

Before announcing the project last week, Banderas and the production team visited Malaga to select appropriate shooting locations for the series. Along with Malaga, the actor has shared that the filming will take place in Barcelona, Paris, and Budapest.