Netflix continues to spend, spend, spend on new, original series, which is obviously great for the consumer, but I’m not so sure if it is for its shareholders.
The streaming platform has ordered a new series titled “The Get Down,” from director Baz Luhrmann, which will unfold over 13 episodes (each an hour long), and will focus on 1970’s New York City, as the press release states, broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped – dying.
Tracking the history of hip-hop, and other innovative forms of music and art of the period, here’s a long 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. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, ‘The Get Down’ 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.”
Luhrmann will direct the first 2 episodes as well as the season finale, and will serve as executive producer.
Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!”), will serve as Costume and Production Designer and executive producer.
Paul Watters (“Australia”Thomas Kelly (“Copper”); Stephen Adley Guirgis (“Motherf***er With The Hat”); Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”); and Marney Hochman (“Terriers”), will also serve as executive producers.
“From his very first and magnificently original steps on the world stage with ‘Strictly Ballroom’ to his most recent with ‘The Great Gatsby,’ Baz conjures worlds we may not recognize initially, but once there, realize they are infused with the same dreams of every person – to belong, to matter, to live life to its fullest. We are thrilled to support Baz, Catherine and Paul and their team in their quest to illuminate those same dreams through the artists who came of age in the cauldron of the Bronx in the late 1970s,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix.
“In this golden era of TV, the Netflix culture puts no constraint on creative possibilities. So it is a natural home for ‘The Get Down,’ a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years. Throughout, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of how a city in its lowest moment, forgotten and half destroyed could give birth to such creativity and originality in music, art and culture. I’m thrilled to be working with my partners at Sony and collaborating with a team of extraordinary writers and musicians, many of whom grew up with and lived the story we’ve set out to tell,” said Baz Luhrmann.
“Baz is an artist in the truest sense, whose talent and vision resonate across mediums. There is no better filmmaker and storyteller to draw us into this world of the forgotten and oppressed residents of the Bronx who rose up and fought back to create and define culture and music for decades to come,” said Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, presidents of programming and production for Sony Pictures Television.
It sounds like a sprawling epic, with what will likely be an ensemble cast of characters. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this in the future…