Antonio Banderas: ‘Pablo Picasso biopic is back on’

Actor Antonio Banderas is moving ahead with plans to portray celebrated artist Pablo Picasso in a new biopic, two years after the project stalled due to financing problems. The Desperado star, who was born in Picasso’s native Malaga, signed up to play the painter and sculptor in 33 Dias two years ago (12), but production came to a swift halt when the bosses of the company which owned the rights to the movie filed for bankruptcy.

At the time, Gwyneth Paltrow was reportedly in talks to play Picasso’s mistress, French artist Dora Maar. It is not clear if Paltrow is still interested, but Banderas, 53, insists the film, directed by Carlos Saura, is now back on track and the timing couldn’t be more perfect because he is closer to the age Picasso was in the late 1930s when the artist struggled to complete his 1937 masterpiece, Guernica.

He says, “I turned down the chance at one point of playing Mr. Pablo, but the time has come in my life where I understand him better, and I am nearly at the age he was when those events happened, in 1937, when he was 55 or 56, and I’m getting close.” Banderas is hoping Paltrow will return to the negotiating table, insisting she will be great in the film because she is “absolutely in love with Spain and speaks Spanish and French perfectly”.

The movie is expected to begin shooting later this year (14) ahead of a planned 2015 release.