The first season of National Geographic’s Genius revolved around the life of Albert Einstein (played by Geoffrey Rush), but its second season will be going in a more artistic direction by telling the story of Pablo Picasso. NatGeo teased the new season earlier this summer, and now Deadline is reporting that Antonio Banderas has been cast as Picasso himself. In a statement, Banderas said that he has always been fascinated by the life of Picasso, as both of them come from the Málaga area in Spain. In a separate statement, Genius executive producer Ron Howard said that Banderas was “the natural choice” to play Picasso because he has a “no-holds-barred approach to life” and enough range to “bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.”
The first season of Genius was a big hit with Emmy voters, setting a NatGeo record with 10 nominations. It was also the best-performing new series in the history of the network, with over 45 million people tuning in to check out Geoffrey Rush as Einstein.