The streaming giant has set the music-driven series to release in two parts, with the first six episodes debuting on Friday, August 12, 2016 and the remaining seven on a date to be announced later.
Co-created, directed and executive produced by Baz Luhrmann, The Get Down follows a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers in a broken down and beaten up, violent New York City at the brink of bankruptcy, which gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco.
“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,” says Luhrmann who has been developing the project for 10 years. “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.”
“The pale faced media tells us we’re all going to hell… But maybe we’re just the first ones to light the fire.”
Leads are Justice Smith as Ezekiel, a smart, resourceful teen, brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love, who is determined to make his mark in this world; Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic, a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric but above all, enigmatic; newcomer Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, a tenacious girl with an incredible voice who dreams of becoming a disco star, a dream that is far outside the realm of her fiercely religious background; Skylan Brooks (Southpaw) as Ra-Ra, a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight, he’s the voice of reason beyond his years; and Tremaine Brown Jr. as Boo-Boo, a mechanically minded kid who is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old’s body.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Crescendo) plays Cadillac, a “fly gangster” and prince of the disco world who is the owner and proprietor of the most notorious after-hours night spot in the Bronx; Mamoudou Athie plays Grandmaster Flash; Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy) is Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz, a South Bronx political boss who delivers services to his constituents that the city has failed to provide, such as jobs, housing and healthcare; and Giancarlo Esposito is Pastor Ramon Cruz, Papa Fuerte’s brother and Mylene’s father, the charismatic head of the local Pentecostal church who attracts a flock of followers with his fiery sermons and firm, steady leadership.
Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid) has a recurring role as Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling, a “psychedelically talented and enigmatic graffiti writer raised in the South Bronx.”
Also recurring are Yolonda Ross (Antwone Fisher) as Ms. Green, the caring but tough English teacher who nurtures the potential in her students and advocates for them to pursue their talents and Zabryna Guevara (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as the wife of pastor Ramon Cruz and the mother of Mylene.
The series is also executive produced by co-creator Shawn Ryan, Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Marney Hochman. It is a Sony Pictures Television production.