Did you know that National Geographic series Genius was actually an anthology? I didn’t, either. Turns out that the show that starred Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush as young and old Albert Einstein was just the first in what they hope will be a long line of historical geniuses. The plan for Season 2 is to focus on the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and the network has announced that Antonio Banderas will star.
The series from from executive producers Brian Glazer, Ron Howard, and Ken Biller, will follow the model of the first season with Banderas playing the older Picasso with a yet-to-be cast actor playing the younger version.
Banderas said of taking the role:
“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. 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 choice to do Picasso for Season 2 came in part because the producers didn’t want to make a statement that only scientists are geniuses. The plan, like with the Einstein season, is to explore both the painters professional and personal lives. And in Picasso’s case it involved a few tumultuous marriages, various affairs, and constantly shifting political and personal alliances.
Howard said of Picasso:
“He was an enigmatic figure, famous, a household name, and yet you don’t really know the story of his life or what inspired him, drove him, troubled him, and how through the turbulence he achieved such artistic greatness in so many different ways and modalities and over so many years. I think it’s that combination that made him feel like a great choice for our season 2.”
Genius is expected to return in 2018.