Antonio Banderas will play Pablo Picasso in '33 Days'.

The 'Desperado' star will portray the surrealist painter in a biopic, which charts the artist's emotional struggle while working on his masterpiece mural 'Guernica'.

The film will be directed by Carlos Saura and will also examine the relationship between Picasso and his French lover Dora Marr, who was with him at the time he made 'Guernica' - his reaction to the destruction of the titular town during the Spanish civil war.

Picasso - who died in 1973 - is a character who has long been close to Antonio, as they come from the same city, Malaga, on Spain's southern coast.

Antonio, 51, told El Pais newspaper: ''He is a character that followed me for a long time, but had always rejected it. He deserves a lot of respect because I am Malagan.

''I was born four blocks from where he was born. It has always fascinated me.''

The film is slated to be shot in Paris and Guernica next summer.