Antonio Banderas will channel cubist master Pablo Picasso in the forthcoming film 33 Days.

The Spanish actor will portray the iconic painter during the period he produced his legendary Guernica mural, according to industry trade publication Variety.

The film's title refers to the amount of time Picasso spent creating the grey, black and white oil painting, his response to the 1937 bombing of the Basque town Guernica during Spain's Civil War.


Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, seen in 1946, drew international attention to the Spanish Civil War with his mural Guernica.

"Picasso's a character that has pursued me for a long time and I always rejected," Banderas said as he confirmed the new role in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"He deserves a lot of respect because I am from Malaga, and I was born four blocks from where he was born. It has always fascinated me."

Banderas, 51, is close to the age that Picasso was when he completed Guernica. At the time, the Spanish government had commissioned Picasso to paint a large mural to serve as the country's display at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris.

Picasso's mural was unveiled in Paris and had a brief tour around the globe, drawing attention to the Spanish Civil War, the suffering of innocent civilians during wartime and becoming a powerful anti-war symbol.

33 Days will be directed by award-winning veteran Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, who previously credits include the film Bunuel y la mesa del rey Salomon (Bunuel and the table of King Solomon),  about surrealist painter Luis Bunuel.

The Spanish- and French-language 33 Days will begin shooting in Spain and France in the summer of 2013. The drama will also examine Picasso's relationship with French artist Dora Maar, one of his many lovers.


Pablo Picasso's Guernica, depicting the 1937 bombing of the Basque town, is seen in Spain's Reina de Sofia museum in Madrid. (Paul White/Associated Press)