Nat Geo got into the scripted TV game earlier this year with the first round of the anthology series Genius, which would tell the story of a different world-changing innovator each season. Season 1 fittingly told the story of Albert Einstein to considerable success, but Season 2 will go in a new direction with legendary artist Pablo Picasso's life in the spotlight. Now, Nat Geo has officially cast the man who will play Picasso, and it's a pretty awesome pick:
Yes, Antonio Banderas of Expendables 3 and The 33 will tackle the role of Pablo Picasso in Genius Season 2. Banderas has primarily worked in film over the many years of his career, and his time on the small screen has generally involved guest shots and miniseries, although he was quite memorable as leading man of TV movie And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. His starring role as Picasso will give fans the opportunity to see him on a weekly basis in the same character. In a fun twist of fate, both Antonio Banderas and Pablo Picasso hail from the town of Málaga, Spain. I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm officially excited about the next season of Genius.
Pablo Picasso should be a fascinating follow-up to Albert Einstein, as the focus will shift from a brilliant physicist to a one-of-a-kind painter. Picasso spent much of his 91 years in France, finding unorthodox ways of looking at the world. His perspective has been challenging observers to reinvent our creative perceptions for many years. Picasso created around 50,000 works during his life thanks to his passion and drive as a painter.
Genius will explore how Picasso's passion and drive affected other areas of his life. His political alliances were prone to shifting with his moods, and he went through a number of wives and mistresses throughout his lifetime. His work in Paris led to interactions with artists ranging from Coco Chanel to Gertrude Stein, and we can only hope that some of these other famous figures will drop by the Genius action during Season 2. Picasso's repeated reinventions of himself should make for an exciting batch of new episodes.
Given the success of the first season of Genius, it's easy to understand why Nat Geo would work to land such a big name as Antonio Banderas to star in the second season. Geoffrey Rush was phenomenal as the older version of Einstein, and the show quickly became Nat Geo's best-performing new series premiere ever, with over 45 million viewers all over the world. Genius has also been nominated for 10 Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, and Outstanding Directing for a Limited series. Hopefully Season 2 with Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso will be as much of a hit.