Four teenagers are set to lead The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann’s longtime passion project that Netflix ordered to series in February. The music-driven drama revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets — nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them, except one another. TJ Brown is set as Boo-Boo, a mechanically minded kid who wants to get down and is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old body. Justice Smith (Paper Towns) will play Ezekiel, a smart, resourceful teen brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love who is determined to make his mark in this world. Shameik Moore (Dope) is Shaolin Fantastic, a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable and eccentric but, above all, enigmatic. And Skylan Brooks (The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete) is Ra-Ra, a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight, he’s the voice of reason beyond his years.
“The characters these young actors play in The Get Down unwittingly become a band of brothers,” said Luhrmann, who will direct the first two episodes and the season finale and serve as executive producer. “Any great group is always made up of distinctly different characters, and the actors we are privileged enough to invite into the roles of Ezekiel, Shaolin Fantastic, Boo-Boo and Ra-Ra all have the distinction of being from such diverse backgrounds — from performing in subways in the Bronx to the music scene of Atlanta and, of course, Los Angeles. I know they’re collectively on the beginning of a thrilling journey with a big story to tell.”
The Get Down is set in 1970s New York City – broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped, dying. Consigned to rubble, the crew is armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps and some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGB to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, the series is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world, forever.
The 13-episode series from Sony Pictures Television will debut in all Netflix territories in 2016. Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan and Marney Hochman will exec produce along with Luhrmann.