Baz Luhrmann, the director of such visual spectacles as Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rogue, and The Great Gatsby, is taking his talents to television. Netflix’s The Get Down is a “mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to a new art form. Set in New York in 1977, this music-driven drama series chronicles the rise of hip-hop and the last days of disco — told through the lives, music, art, and dance of the South Bronx kids who would change the world forever.” Based on the just-released first trailer, it’s likely to be a lot better than that other show about New York’s music scene in the 1970s.
The Get Down certainly has the pedigree to work, not only with Luhrmann, who can turn even the most static shot into a fantastical feast, but also Nas, who’s attached as executive producer, and associate producer Grandmaster Flash. (Hip-hop historian Nelson George is credited as supervising producer.) The musical-drama has a strong cast, too, with Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito and Sons of Anarchy‘s Jimmy Smits as the headline names, and relative newcomers Justice Smith and Herizen Guardiola — as the determined Ezekiel and Mylene, respectively — in the leading roles. Also, teenage Twitter prophet Jaden Smith (“Eskimos Were The First People To Netflix And Chill”).
The Get Down premieres on Netflix on Aug. 12.