This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Get ready to pour one out: Netflix just pulled the plug on The Get Down after one season. (In related news: The Ranch will return on June 16, because that’s just how the universe works.)
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the cancelation yesterday. Set in The Bronx circa 1977, the hour-long music drama tapped into the birth of hip-hop and rap. Nas served as an executive producer and contributed lyrics for the show, while hip-hop icons like Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow worked with the young cast behind the scenes. And the soundtrack, oh, the soundtrack.
The show also marked the TV debut of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann, who posted a lengthy note about the cancelation on Facebook. Though THR cited cost concerns and production delays as contributing to the show’s demise, Luhrmann explained that his schedule also made a second season unlikely.
“When I was asked to come to the center of The Get Down to help realize it, I had to defer a film-directing commitment for at least two years,” the Australian filmmaker told fans. “This exclusivity has understandably become a sticking point for Netflix and Sony, who have been tremendous partners and supporters of the show. It kills me that I can’t split myself into two and make myself available to both productions. I feel so deeply connected to all those who I have worked and collaborated with on this remarkable experience.
“All sorts of things have been thrown around for the future… even a stage show (can you imagine that? I can, concert version anyone? Next summer? Just saying.),” he continued. “But the simple truth is, I make movies. And the thing with movies is, that when you direct them, there can be nothing else in your life. Since The Get Down stopped, I have actually been spending the last few months preparing my new cinematic work.”
In other words, he chose movies over Shaolin Fantastic. (Incidentally, Luhrmann’s IMDB profile has no mention of this new film project, which had better be the next Romeo + Juliet and not the next Australia.)
The director paid tribute to his cast and collaborators.
“The cast of this show is unique and exceptional,” he wrote. “Apart from our stellar veteran actors, I can’t tell you how privileged we all felt to have found such young, new talents, many of whom are now starring in motion pictures, creating music, and taking tremendous strides in their careers. Our cast, writers, musical collaborators, choreographers, camera team, directing, and post-production teams all felt the profound privilege to have been embraced by the borough of The Bronx and the hip-hop community at large. But most especially by the forefathers of hip-hop: Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Raheim and all the b-boys, b-girls, graffiti-writers, MCs, and DJs that made this story possible. As well as the keepers of the flame and guiding lights, such as Nas. We experienced things together that I will never forget. All of us in The Get Down family have been touched by this precious mission of telling the pre-history of a form of culture that would go on to change not only the city, but the world.
“As for the real future of the show, the spirit of The Get Down, and the story it has begun to tell… it has its own life. One that lives on today and will continue to be told somewhere, somehow, because of you, the fans and the supporters. Humbled and honored, and to quote Mylene’s beautiful ballad, ‘I’ll see you on the other-side…'”
Are you mad? Sad? Take us out, Mylene…
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