Spanish actor Antonio Banderas says he's now mature enough to take on the role of the artist Pablo Picasso in a film to be made by director Carlos Saura.
16 Apr 2014 - 11:50 AM  UPDATED 16 Apr 2014 - 1:51 PM

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas says he has reached a stage in life when he's ready to play fellow Malaga native Pablo Picasso.

Banderas plans to take on the role in Spanish director Carlos Saura's 33 Dias, a film about the creation of the painting Guernica.

"I turned down the chance at one point of playing Mr Pablo, but the time has come in my life where I understand him better, and I am nearly at the age he was when those events happened, in 1937, when he was 55 or 56, and I'm getting close," says Banderas, who turns 54 in August.

The film "is a portrait of a really hard time, amid the Spanish Civil War, and a request from the Republic to make a mural that Picasso initially rejected and later accepted when the bombing of Guernica occurred". Banderas told reporters during a ceremony at Malaga city hall in southern Spain.

The project means working once again with Saura, whom Banderas described as "a friend and a man who Spain owes much from the standpoint of cinematography and culture".

Vittorio Storaro, "a great legend in world cinema", will be the director of photography.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who according to Banderas is "absolutely in love with Spain and speaks Spanish and French perfectly", has agreed to be in the film.

The project has been delayed because the production company that owns the movie rights and originally agreed to finance the film ended up filing for bankruptcy protection, the actor said.

Banderas is spending Holy Week in Malaga and plans to travel to Colombia on May 3.