Antonio Banderas to play Pablo Picasso

2011 was a year of variety for Antonio Banderas, from the creepy, The Skin I Live In to the Shrek spin-off, Puss In Boots , and it doesn't look like work is going to slow down for the prolific Spanish actor.

Alongside the persistent rumour that he'll play Fidel Castro comes confirmation of his casting as the much celebrated artist Pablo Picasso in 33 Dias [33 Days].

The biopic will focus on Picasso as he paints his masterpiece, 'Guernica', a mural that he spent 33 days working on (as referenced in the title).

33 Dias will seek to capture his turmoil after the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937 by the Nazi Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War, while also touching on his relationship with French artist, Dora Maar.

Banderas was quoted in an interview published on Sunday by a Spanish newspaper, El Pais :

"[ Picasso ] is a character that has pursued me for a long time and I always rejected. He deserves a lot of respect because I am from Malaga, and I was born four blocks from where he was born".

The film will be directed by Carlos Saura with shooting to begin next summer.