By Sahil Patel
Netflix has cast the four young male leads in director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming original musical series “The Get Down.”
Following a rag-tag group of teenagers who are living in the Bronx in the late 1970s, “The Get Down” will focus on the music of that time — one that exploded as New York City faced a particularly tough economic period. The series is described as a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk, and disco — as told through the lives and music of four South Bronx kids.
“The Get Down” will be led by the quartet of TJ Brown, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, and Skylan Brooks.
Brown will play Boo-Boo, who is described as a mechanically-minded kid who wants to get down, and a 40-year-old in a 14-year-old’s body. Brown is a newcomer and frequent NYC subway performer, who was discovered by the “The Get Down” casting team on the subway — really.
Nineteen-year-old Justice Smith has been cast as Ezekiel, a smart, resourceful teen brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love who is determined to make his mark on the world. In the near term, Smith will appear in the feature film “Paper Towns,” which is based on a novel of the same name written by John Green.
Shameik Moore (“Dope”) will play Shaolin Fantastic, a child of the streets, who is enigmatic and unpredictable as they come.
The fourth and final lead, Skylan Brooks, will play Ra-Ra, a loyal, respected, and protective friend and brother. He’s the voice of reason in the group. Brooks will next appear alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw.”
“The Get Down” is Luhrmann’s first “musical” since “Moulin Rouge.” He will executive produce the series as well as direct the first two episodes and the season finale. Other executive producers include Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan, and Marney Hochman.
Ordered by Netflix in February, the 13-episode series is produced by Sony Pictures Television and will debut across all Netflix territories in 2016.