Antonio Banderas to play Picasso in movie

Antonio Banderas and Pablo Picasso Banderas (l) and Picasso were both born in Malaga

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Antonio Banderas is to play Pablo Picasso in upcoming film 33 Days, based on the period when the Spanish artist produced his masterpiece Guernica.

Carlos Saura's French- and Spanish-language movie begins filming in summer 2013, according to Variety.

Banderas told Spanish newspaper El Pais that Picasso "deserves a lot of respect... I was born four blocks from where he was born".

33 Days refers to the time Picasso spent on the Guernica mural.

The famous painting captured the artist's response to the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War.

In his El Pais interview, Banderas said Picasso was "a character that has pursued me for a long time".

Variety reports the film will also focus on Picasso's relationship with his lover, French artist Dora Maar.

Banderas is no stranger to art biopics, having appeared in a film about the life of Frida Kahlo in 2002 opposite Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina.

Picasso was previously portrayed on screen by Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1996, by Omid Djalili in 2004's Modigliani and by Marcial Di Fonzo Bo in last year's Midnight in paris.

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