Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant. David Fincher and Brad Pitt. Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. These are some of the greatest actor-director collaborations in film history. And now, we’ll finally get a chance to see if Baz Luhrmann and Jaden Smith have what it takes to make the cut.
The two will work together for the first time ever on Luhrmann’s new music drama The Get Down, a 13-episode series commissioned exclusively for Netflix, set in 1970s New York.
The Karate Kid star will reportedly portray 18-year-old Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling, described by Deadline as “a psychedelically talented and enigmatic graffiti writer raised in the South Bronx”.
His character is part of a ragtag crew of South Bronx teens whose dramatic music-related exploits in the near-bankrupt but artistically thriving city form the basis of the show. And, according to the Aussie director, Smith has already started researching his role.
“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,” Luhrmann explained.
“We as an audience have known Jaden since he was very young,” the director continued. “Recently, Jaden has been seeking diverse and challenging roles and this is a testament to his passion to grow in the craft. We’re all very happy with the casting of Jaden in the role of ‘Dizzee’ Kipling.”
Luhrmann will direct the show’s first two episodes and the season finale. He’ll also executive produce the series alongside Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) while Academy Award winner Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) will act as costume and production designer.
The director also previously stated that The Get Down had been a passion project of his for quite some time, and that Netflix was the perfect stage upon which to realise it.
“In this golden era of TV, the Netflix culture puts no constraint on creative possibilities,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “So it is a natural home for The Get Down, a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years.”
The series will debut on Netflix in 2016. Check out the teaser trailer below.