Fidel Castro and Pablo Picasso? That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call “covering the biopic bases.”
Such credit can be given to Antonio Banderas, who, per Variety‘s word, has agreed to star as the legendary painter in Carlos Saura‘s 33 Dias (or, as you’ll likely know it, 33 Days). Written by the helmer, his longtime producer, Elias Querejeta, and Louis-Charles Sirjacq, Days will tell the story of Picasso’s “emotional turmoil as he painted his masterpiece Guernica,” and how he attained “near salvation” through the piece’s construction. (The title itself refers to the length of time he spent working on Guernica, “which captured his reaction to the destruction of Basque town of Guernica in 1937 by the Nazi Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War.”) Also figuring into the story is Picasso’s romance with Dora Maar, a part that’s yet to be cast.
Banderas has already commented on both the role and opportunities associated with it, admitting that Picasso is a character who’s “pursued” and, in turn, been rejected by the actor for years. But, now, with Banderas‘ acknowledgement that he “deserves a lot of respect,” it would appear that the time has come for a proper screen treatment. (I just made this whole thing sound so much more dramatic than necessary. You’re either welcome or have my apologies.)
Of course, this creates a big challenge for the multi-faceted actor in the coming months — namely, how one interprets and conveys the behavior of a great artist with something of a complicated history. Personally, I can’t wait to see how he digs into Picasso as creator and man; the film itself could prove to be half-decent, too.
With Apocalypse Now‘s Vittorio Storaro lensing for Saura, production on the film is slated to kick off this coming summer in Paris and Guernica.
Will Banderas make a strong Picasso? Do you hold enough interest in the subject material?
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