Antonio Banderas to play Picasso in ’33 Dias’

Antonio Banderas
MADRID: Spanish actor Antonio Banderas will play Pablo Picasso in Carlos Saura’s upcoming "33 Dias" (33 Days).

The $7.9 million film will focus on the painter’s emotional turmoil while he worked on his masterpiece "Guernica".

"33 dias" refers to the time Picasso spent on the mural, which captured his reaction to the destruction of Basque town of Guernica in 1937 by the Nazi Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War, reports

Picasso "is a character that has pursued me for a long time and I always rejected. He deserves a lot of respect because I am from Malaga, and I was born four blocks from where he was born", Banderas said in an interview published Sunday by Spanish newspaper El Pais.

To be made in French and Spanish, the film will go on floors next summer in Paris and Guernica.

Carlos Saura has teamed up with Spanish producer Elias Querejeta for the film.

Saura and Querejeta penned the script alongside French writer Louis-Charles Sirjacq.

Budgeted over six million euro ($7.9 million), the picture will be produced by Bilbao-based Idem 4 and co-produced by Cinevedas, which has offices in France, Canada and India.

Triple Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro is in advanced talks to join the project.

In the film, Saura shows how painting "Guernica" proved near salvation for Picasso at a moment of personal crisis. It also focuses on Picasso’s relationship with his lover, French artist Dora Maar.