Antonio Banderas to Play Picasso at Nat Geo Anthology Series “Genius”

By Edgar Lopez

Pablo Picasso (Photo by Arnold Newman/Getty Images)

Los Angeles, CA – Antonio Banderas (The mask of Zorro, Mariachi) will be seen on the second season of National Geographic’s anthology series Genius. The Spanish-born actor will play the role of the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. This will mark Bandera’s first appearance in a series regular role on TV.

The series will chronicle the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists.

Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso and during his childhood and adolescence showed an extraordinary talent for the arts.

Among Picasso’s most famous works are Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica, a portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian air forces. Picasso painted Guernica as a reaction to the Nazi’s devastating casual bombing on the Basque town of Guernica. It shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon innocent civilians.

“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 Malaga,” said Banderas. “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.”

Season 2 is set to premiere on 2018 and will continue to be exec produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and Madison Wells Media’s OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow.

“Not only are they both from Málaga, Spain, but also similar to Picasso, Antonio exudes charisma and passion, and has challenged boundaries with his creative artistry,” said Carolyn Bernstein, Nat Geo executive vp and head of global scripted.

Season 1 of Genius, earned 10 Emmy nominations, 10 Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, setting a network record. It also became the network’s best performing new series launch in network history, watched by over 45 million viewers globally.

Recently, the Spanish Film Academy announced that it has given its 2017 National Cinema Award to Banderas. The actor of Desperado will receive this special award “for this extraordinary carrer at national and international level and for opening the doors to many Spanish actors and actresses.”

Banderas  will receive this prize during the 2017 edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival, which will be celebrated from 23th to 30th of September.

Banderas is  repped by Paradigm.

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