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Baz Luhrmann is bringing a 1970s hip-hop drama to Netflix

The director of Moulin Rouge! is taking on an original series for Netflix.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Feb 6, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 2:38 pm CDT

Baz Luhrmann is the latest filmmaker to be snapped up by Netflix, signing on to direct a 13-episode hip-hop drama set in 1970s New York City.

Luhrmann is known for making opulent, heavily choreographed movies like Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby. His Netflix series, The Get Down, sounds like it will be another work in his trademark style, following a gang of South Bronx teenagers as their story unfolds among iconic landmarks like CBGBs and Studio 54. THR describes the show as “a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco.”

It’s likely that the combination of Baz Luhrman (who is white and Australian) and South Bronx hip-hop teens may raise a few eyebrows, but Netflix seems unbothered. The joint presidents of programming said in a statement, “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.”

Considering the mixed reception for Luhrmann’s more recent movies, The Great Gatsby and Australia, there’s a strong possibility The Get Down may turn out to be a glitzy kind of trash TV. However, this show is still something of a coup for Netflix, which is currently well ahead of Amazon when it comes to original programming. Luhrmann is an impressively high-profile hire, and there’s always an audience for musical dramas.

Photo via Christine Zenino/Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2015, 4:35 pm CST