Following a global casting call for actors by director Baz Luhrmann, to fill major roles in his upcoming Netflix musical drama “The Get Down,” a starring cast is now set.
Announced via press release, Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Skylan Brooks and Tremaine Brown Jr. have all booked lead roles in the series which will unfold over 13 episodes (each an hour long), tracking the history of hip-hop, and other innovative forms of music and art of the period.
Here’s a 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.”
Here’s how each character the actors play is described:
– Boo-Boo, played by Brown, is “a mechanically minded kid who is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old’s body.”
– Ezekiel, played by Justice Smith, is “a smart, resourceful teen brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love who is determined to make his mark in this world.”
– Shaolin Fantastic, played by Moore, is “a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric but above all, enigmatic.”
– And finally, Ra-Ra, played by Brooks, is “a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight, he’s the voice of reason beyond his years.”
Skylan Brooks recently starred in George Tillman, Jr.’ “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete;” you’ll eventually get to know Shameik Moore even more, when Rick Famuyiwa’s Sundance crowd-pleasing “Dope” opens this summer (he also appeared in the telepic “The Watsons Go to Birmingham” with Anika Noni Rose and Wood Harris); Justice Smith is a relative newcomer who will appear in this summer’s adventure-romance “Paper Towns;” and TJ Brown is a fresh face.
Luhrmann will direct the first 2 episodes as well as the season finale, and will serve as executive producer of what reads like a sprawling epic, with what will likely be an ensemble cast of characters.
Says Luhrmann, “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.”
The series is also executive produced by Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan and Marney Hochman. The 13-episode music-driven drama from Sony Pictures Television will debut in all Netflix territories in 2016.