The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York — broken down and beaten up, violent, cash-strapped, dying. 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.
Smith will play Marcus “Dizzee” King, a psychedelically talented and enigmatic graffiti artist from the South Bronx.
“We as an audience have known Jaden since he was very young. Recently, Jaden has been seeking diverse and challenging roles and this is a testament to his passion to grow in the craft,” said Luhrmann. “In the short time he has joined our acting family, he has begun developing his The Get Down skill set, even taking lessons from the legendary graffiti artist Lady Pink of Wild Style fame, as well as steeping himself in the history and culture of the Bronx. We’re all very happy with the casting of Jaden in the role of ‘Dizzee’ Kipling, and with his addition, the Kipling family cast is now complete.”
Smith, whose credits also include The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, can also be seen in the upcoming HBO comedy Brothers in Atlanta from Lorne Michaels.
The cast also includes Jimmy Smits, Herizen Guardiola, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Mamoudou Athie.
Making his television series debut, the Moulin Rouge! writer-director-producer will helm the first two episodes as well as the series finale and executive produce alongside Emmy nominee Ryan (The Shield, Terriers). Academy Award winner Catherine Martin (Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) will serve as costume and production designer. She joins fellow executive producers Paul Watters (Australia), Thomas Kelly (Copper), playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis (Motherf***er With the Hat) and Marney Hochman (Terriers). It is Luhrmann’s first musical endeavor since Moulin Rouge! The Sony Pictures Television-produced entry will premiere in all territories in 2016.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.