Produced by Ron Howard, National Geographic’s Genius sets out to humanize the story of famous historical intellects, with Geoffrey Rush’s portrayal of Einstein kicking off the series, whose extended finale aired last night.
In a special phone meeting with the press, director Ken Biller and producer Ron Howard announced the next subject to be featured: Pablo Picasso.
“His name stimulated curiosity in people,” said Ron Howard, claiming that the figure, like Einstein, is someone who sparked public imagination but whose actual biography remains somewhat shrouded, apart from its pop culture conception.
The move to feature an artist instead of another scientist is, perhaps, a surprising twist for some. For instance, it had been speculated that Marie Curie (who was featured somewhat prominently in the show) could be the next famous intellectual to be spotlighted.
During the press conference, Howard and Biller insisted that the show’s intention is not just to focus on scientists but to showcase genius of all kinds. Furthermore, they noted that the show will continue to leave no stone unturned when it comes to the private details of its subjects. For instance, as it did before with Einstein, the next season of Genius will explore how Picasso’s personal difficulties and love affairs were a part of his creative life.
The show’s realistic approach to these historical figures has earned it largely positive reviews from critics and fans.
“We are thrilled with the enthusiastic response audiences and critics have had for Genius over the last nine weeks, and are excited to be delving back into the concept with season two,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks. “More so than any of his contemporaries, Picasso’s work dramatically expressed the modern age and defined new cultural norms. We are excited to explore his life and his genius with the incredibly talented team behind the series.”
Images courtesy of National Geographic and Getty Images.