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Jaden Smith joins the cast of Netflix’s ’70s hip-hop musical drama

Get ready for Jaden Smith to star in a 1970s hip-hop musical from the creator of 'Moulin Rouge.'


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Jun 10, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 3:16 pm CDT

Erstwhile Twitter philosopher and white Batman costume model Jaden Smith is set to star in Baz Luhrman’s Netflix musical.

The Get Down is set in 1970s New York, a 13-episode musical series about a group of teens coming of age in the South Bronx hip-hop scene. According to Variety, Jaden Smith will play “Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling, a talented and enigmatic graffiti writer.” Luhrman said:

“Recently, Jaden has been seeking diverse and challenging roles, and this is a testament to his passion to grow in the craft. 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.”

Smith is undoubtedly the most famous cast member so far, although it looks like the story focuses on an ensemble cast rather than having Smith in a lead protagonist role. Here are a few of the other characters:

  • Boo-Boo (TJ Brown), “a mechanically-minded kid who wants to get down, he is an irrepressible 40-year-old in a 14-year-old body.” 14-year-old TJ Brown was discovered when performing in the NYC subway.
  • Ezekial (Justice Smith, Paper Towns), “a smart, resourceful teen brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love.”
  • Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore, Dope), “a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric but above all, enigmatic.”
  • Ra-Ra (Skylan Brooks), “a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight.” 
  • Mylene Cruz (Herizen Guardiola), “a shining, tenacious girl with a voice from God who dreams of disco stardom from the confines of her family’s fiercely religious church walls.”

We’re getting a vintage Fame vibe from these character descriptions. Hopefully Baz Luhrman, an Australian filmmaker with no first-hand experience of 1970s hip-hop culture, can handle the material.

Photo via amandla/Tumblr

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*First Published: Jun 10, 2015, 11:12 am CDT