Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas is coming to the small screen for his next project. The Desperado star will play iconic artist Pablo Picasso in the second season of National Geographic’s new anthology series, Genius.
According to the network, the show’s 10-episode second season will chronicle Picasso’s life as one of the most recognized and influential artists of the 20th century when it returns 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,” says Banderas.
Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain in 1881 but spent much of adult life as an artist living in and around Paris, then known as the art capital of the world.
Once he achieved fame, Picasso worked steadily as an artist for more than 70 years until his death in 1973 at the age of 91.
The first season of Genius starred Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winner Geoffrey Rush as physicist Albert Einstein; each season will follow the life of a different “genius” from throughout history.
After making a splash in his native Spain, Banderas came to America in 1991 where he quickly garnered successful roles in the films The Mambo Kings and Philadelphia.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, Banderas became a household name with starring roles in Evita, The Mask of Zorro, and the Spy Kids trilogy.
His soothing accented voice can also be heard in the Shrek animated films as the character Puss in Boots and as the bee in the prescription Nasonex commercials.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producers on Genius through their Imagine Entertainment shingle, and Howard actually directed the premiere episode of the show’s first season. The acclaimed director is busy now with the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spin-off film, so there’s no word yet on whether he will helm any installments in the second season.