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Ron Howard to paint a portrait of Picasso in 'Genius' season 2

The 10-part National Geographic TV series will paint a portrait of the artist's turbulent life.

Picasso in Paris

Painter Pablo Picasso in his Paris studio.


Pablo Picasso is getting the "Genius" treatment. The famed Spanish artist will be the focus of the next season of Ron Howard's TV series, which recounts the lives of famed real-life individuals.

"Genius" is National Geographic's first fully scripted original drama. Each season covers a different brilliant figure. Albert Einstein was the subject of this year's debut season, which ended this week. 

Producer and director Ron Howard and showrunner Ken Biller announced the subject of the next season today. Howard admitted that "hours and hours of debate" went into selecting which real-life character could follow Albert Einstein, mentioning that several women were considered. The show is also produced by Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane.

Biller revealed Picasso was one of the first names suggested for the second season. As they discussed other candidates, the producers ended up "inexorably circling back" to the artist.

The turbulent life of Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was previously dramatised in 1996 film "Surviving Picasso", in which Anthony Hopkins played the womanising painter. A film starring Antonio Banderas has also been in development for more than five years.

Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn starred as the older and younger Einstein in the first season, and season two is also planned to cast two actors to play the artist at different periods in his 91 years of life. 

Ron Howard is rumoured to be in the frame to take over from the ousted directors of the Han Solo spin-off movie that's currently in production. But it's not clear how that could affect his involvement in future seasons of "Genius".

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