Antonio Banderas To Play Picasso In ‘Genius’ Season 2
National Geographic hit it out of the park with ‘Genius‘, winning critical acclaim and 10 Emmy nods for its 1st season starring Geoffrey Rush (‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) as Einstein. Now they have announced Emmy & Golden Globe nominated actor Antonio Banderas (‘Evita’, ‘The Mask of Zorro’) will play Pablo Picasso when it returns for it’s 2nd season.
The season will chronicle the life and work of the Spanish painter, who was one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists. The new season, from Fox 21 Television Studios, will again be executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, Madison Wells Media’s OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow, and will premiere in 2018.
“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,” 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.”
The artistic career of Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano María Remedios de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso spanned more than 80 of his 91 years, much of it in his second home of France. Much like Einstein, the subject of the first season of ‘Genius’, Picasso imagined and interpreted the world in totally new and unorthodox ways, and constantly reinvented our perceptions of art and creativity. The prolific artist generated an estimated 50,000 works, among the most notable being The Old Guitarist from his Blue Period, now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago; Guernica, inspired by the Nazi bombing of a small Spanish town of the same name, recently displayed at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; and Les Demoiselles D’Avignon, now on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
“Antonio was the natural choice. He, like Picasso, has a no-holds barred approach to life that will add to the genuineness that we’re looking for,” said Ron Howard. “He has such tremendous range as an actor, who I know will bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.”
“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,” adds Carolyn Bernstein, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Scripted, National Geographic. “He checks all the boxes for us and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him lead the series.”
The first season of ‘Genius’ was recently nominated for 10 Emmys including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series and more, marking a first for the network. It also became the channel’s best performing new series launch, watched by over 45 million viewers globally.
‘Genius‘ Season 2 is expected to air on National Geographic in 2018.