Baz Luhrmann to direct a musical drama set in 70s New York for Netflix

The director hails a "golden era of television" as he embarks on his first TV series

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Baz Luhrmann is making his TV debut with musical drama The Get Down, which will air on Netflix in 2016.

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The Great Gatsby director’s 13-episode drama will focus on late-70s New York, and how the city, struggling with social and financial problems, spawned disco, hip-hop and punk, “from CBGBs to Studio 54”.

Describing the show as Luhrmann’s first music-themed drama since 2001’s hit film Moulin Rouge, Netflix said that The Get Down would focus on “a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers…armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans”.

Luhrmann, who will direct the first two episodes as well as the finale and serve as executive producer, said in a statement: “Throughout, 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. 

“In this golden era of TV, the Netflix culture puts no constraint on creative possibilities. So it is a natural home for The Get Down, a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years.”

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Luhrmann is one of several filmmakers to have embraced TV in recent years. Last month it was announced that Woody Allen would make a TV series for rival streaming service Amazon Prime – although Allen’s premise for his show isn’t  as fully-formed as Luhrmann’s. “I don’t know how I got into this,” Allen said. “I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin.”