MALAGA, Spain – A United States film crew is set to start filming on location in Malaga, Southern Spain, episode one of the scripted bio-doc “Genius Picasso” television series, a joint National Geographic and Fox21 production whose leading role will be interpreted by Antonio Banderas, a production source told EFE on Monday.
Filming will begin in the hometown of both Pablo Picasso, arguably the 20th century’s most influential painter, as well as Banderas, whose filmography includes “Evita,” “Mask of Zorro” and “The Mariachi.”
Among the locations selected are Malaga’s Church of Santiago, where Picasso was baptized, or La Malagueta bullring, where as a young boy he witnessed bullfighting, a subject that would permeate his art throughout his lifetime.
Banderas said he is looking forward to star in this ambitious 10-episode TV series: “The life story of Pablo Picasso has fascinated me for a long time and I have so much respect for this man, who also comes from my birthplace, Malaga.” he said. “I am thrilled to work with National Geographic (...) and the rest of the Genius team to tell an authentic story of one of the most innovative painters in the world.”
Outside the bullring, a large number of production vehicles have already been spotted, while inside the location-set is decorated with Spanish and Malaga flags among other props.
Another location will be Malaga’s – Misericordia – beach that will double as the French Riviera which will be the point in time when Banderas joins the TV series timeline narrative interpreting Picasso in his later, mature, years.
This is Banderas’ debut in a regular TV series.
The production team also intend to film in the house where Picasso was born and the plaza (square) de la Merced, where his family home stands, and in Malaga’s San Agustin street where the current Museo Picasso stands, where the Spanish cubist genius went to nursery school and his father’s studio was located – the also-painter Jose Ruiz Blasco.
Various public car-parks in central Malaga have been closed to make room for the TV series production entourage which will adapt their shooting script depending on the local weather outlook, according to the same EFE sources.
The 10-episode first season of – Genius – paid homage to the figure of Albert Einstein and became Nat Geo’s best performing new series launch ever.
The filming of the second season of the acclaimed – Genius – series will begin in Malaga on Tuesday and last three days.