Out of the rubble of blighted New York City in the 1970s came musical genres (punk, disco, hip-hop) that transformed the culture. Director Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge" "The Great Gatsby") has cast four actors to embody that world in "The Get Down," a new Netflix original series about teenagers in the South Bronx, reports the Hollywood Reporter.
The 13-episode drama that shows the rise of four teenagers in the glittering world of the SoHo art scene, Studio 54 and CBGB will debut on Netflix in 2016.
Of the four primary actors cast, three have acting credits, but the youngest, 14-year-old Tremaine "TJ" Brown Jr., an aspiring rapper and dancer, was discovered performing in the New York City subway by "The Get Down" casting agents. He'll play a character nicknamed Boo-Boo in the series.
Nineteen-year-old Shameik Moore ("Dope"), who will play Shaolin Fantastic, was named by Indiewire as one of the Sundance Film Festival's "12 Major Breakouts." Nineteen-year-old Justice Smith (of the forthcoming "Paper Towns") is set to play Ezekiel, and 16-year-old Skylan Brooks ("The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete") will play Ra-Ra. Brooks also stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming "Southpaw."
Director Lurhmann, who comes from a theater and musical background and who has been hailed as a reinventor of the musical with "Moulin Rouge," said: “The characters these young actors play in ‘The Get Down’ unwittingly become a band of brothers. 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.”
Luhrmann is set to direct the first two episodes and the season finale and will be the series' executive producer.