GUADALAJARA – In town to accept a Mayahuel de Plata on March 8 for his contribution to Ibero-American cinema and give a master class, multi-hyphenate Antonio Banderas revealed he had a third reason for coming to Mexico. “I’ve closed a pre-agreement with a Mexican company to complete the financing for “33 Dias,” he said in reference to Carlos Saura’s long-gestating film about iconic Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and hiss 33-day creation of anti-war masterpiece “Guernica.”
He later revealed that the new backer was Jorge Vergara, the Mexican billionaire who also owns the prominent Chivas soccer club. Vergara has produced pics in the past including Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-nommed “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and Niels Mueller’s “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” through his shingle, Producciones Anhelo. Banderas, who was born just four blocks from Picasso’s birthplace in Malaga, signed on to play the artist in 2012.
It’s an apt collaboration given Banderas keen interest in soccer. In the Master Class steered by thesp Ofelia Medina, Banderas recalled the exact date he broke his foot when he was an aspiring soccer player, a fateful day that made him turn to acting.
Principal photography of “33 Dias” is likely to be in Malaga.