Disclosed by Deadline, Spanish-born Antonio Banderas has been tapped to play Pablo Picasso in the second season of National Geographic’s anthology series Genius. Set for a 2018 premiere, the season which will chronicle the life and work of the Spanish painter, “one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists.” Genius will again be executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, Madison Wells Media’s OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow.
Season 1 of Genius, saw Geoffrey Rush as famous physicist Albert Einstein. The series earned 10 Emmy nominations and became the network’s best performing new series launch in network history, watched by over 45 million viewers globally.
Banderas has always admired Picasso stating, “The life story of Pablo Picasso has long since fascinated me and I have so much respect for this man, who also comes from my birthplace Málaga. I am thrilled to work with National Geographic, Brian, Ron, Ken and the rest of the Genius team to tell an authentic story of one of the most innovative painters in the world.”
Howard called Banderas “the natural choice” for the role. “He, like Picasso, has a no-holds-barred approach to life that will add to the genuineness that we’re looking for,” Howard said. “He has such tremendous range as an actor, who I know will bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.”
Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.