“The Get Down” executive producer Baz Luhrmann told the TCA summer press tour that he always wanted to honor those he portrayed in the new Netflix series.
“I always knew it wasn’t my story,” Luhrmann said. “At one stage I was going to do it as movie. … I realized that it was too epic. It was too vast.”
He also shared the story of how he first conceived the idea for the show, which oddly enough happened in Paris.
“I saw a framed photograph of these two kids in a hip-hop stance,” he said. “I remember thinking in that moment, ‘How did so much creativity come from New York in that moment in that time?'”
The show focuses on 1970s New York City: “broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying,” per the streaming service’s description. “Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them — except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans.”
The musically themed drama is led by “Dope” star Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic — who may have the best character name in TV history — as well as newcomers Tremaine Brown Jr., Justice Smith and Skylan Brooks, playing a group of teenagers who run wild in the streets of the late-1970s Bronx.
“The Get Down” also stars Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, whose strictly religious father (Giancarlo Esposito) forbids her from singing the disco music she loves.
The series is also executive produced by Nas, Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Marney Hochman.
“The Get Down” premieres on Netflix on Aug. 12.