Picasso's art was affected by the political atmosphere. Guernica, one of his most famous murals, was his response to the Spanish civil war and the bombing of Guernica. Via Wikimedia Commons / Papamanila.
CAIRO – 22 June 2017: Only hours after season one’s finale of “Genius” aired on Tuesday, National Geographic announced that it has already started working on bringing another genius, namely Pablo Picasso, to the screen.
“Genius” is National Geographic’s first fully scripted series. It is an ontological docudrama about the life of prominent historical ‘geniuses’ from different fields.
“It was important to us to make a declarative statement. ‘Genius’ is not only about scientists,” showrunner Ken Biller told Variety. Biller added that the decision wasn’t easy to make. The team discussed a lot who would follow Einstein and even though Picasso’s name was among the first suggestions, many others were being considered.
The first season covered the life of the scientist, Albert Einstein through eleven episodes aired over almost two months. The series covered not only the scientist’s impressive findings but also the details of his personal life and struggles. The second series is expected to be not any less complicated with Picasso’s busy life, his romantic affairs and his relationships with artist Georges Braque, photographer and poet Dora Maar, writer Ernest Hemingway and fashion icon Coco Chanel to name a few.
Picasso was born in Spain at the end of the 19th century and moved to Paris in the early 1900s. His most prominent works are under the categories of surrealism and cubism. Throughout his 91 year long life, he was looked upon as a prominent international artist with strong political views. A communist himself, he accepted the International Lenin Peace Prize twice (once in its former name: International Stalin Peace Prize).
The nature of Picasso’s work would definitely show through the series as Ron Howard, who contributed to the direction and development of the first season, confirmed to Variety. Naturally, Picasso is remembered for his major contributions to a variety of styles. He produced work for the blue period, rose period and African influences. His work included paintings, sculptures and poems.
The first season has received strong reviews from the Guardian, Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times. The series was based on Walter Isaacson’s book “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”
For the first season’s cast, Johnny Flynn impersonated the passionate young Albert while Geoffrey Rush took on the older Einstein and Samantha Colley and Emily Watson played Einstein’s wives. Even though the subject of the second season has been announced, National Geographic still hasn’t disclosed any details about the cast.