Baz Luhrmann's 'The Get Down' Adds "Disco Prince" to Cast (Exclusive)

Newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will play a "fly gangster" in the 1970s hip-hop drama.
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Baz Luhrmann's Netflix hip-hop drama The Get Down continues to add to its cast.

Newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has booked a key role on the 1970s hip-hop drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York — broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped, dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them — except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world … forever.

Abdul-Mateen will play the role of Cadillac, a "fly gangster" and prince of the disco world who is the owner and proprietor of the most notorious after-hours night spot in the Bronx. The casting marks his first series regular role after graduating with a master of fine arts degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama.

Read more Baz Luhrmann Hip-Hop Drama Gets Netflix Series Order

"The story of The Get Down is so much about unexpected creativity born of a new generation," Luhrmann said. "So, it's equally exciting that we are discovering so many as yet unknown talents and are able to place them in such significant roles. From 14-year-old Tremaine Brown Jr., who hails from the Bronx, to a recent Yale graduate in the acting world, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who will be playing a prince of the disco floor and somewhat kingpin of the underworld. It was a role highly contested, and all of us in the Get Down company are excited to have this gifted young actor join us."

He joins a cast of rising stars that also includes Jimmy Smits, Herizen Guardiola, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Skylan Brooks, Brown and Mamoudou Athie, with the latter playing Grandmaster Flash.

Making his television series debut, the Moulin Rouge! writer-director-producer will helm the first two episodes as well as the series finale and will executive produce alongside Emmy nominee Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers). Academy Award winner Catherine Martin (Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge!) will serve as costume and production designer. She joins fellow executive producers Paul Watters (Australia), Thomas Kelly (Copper), playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis (The Motherf***er With the Hat) and Marney Hochman (Terriers). The Get Down is Luhrmann's first musical endeavor since Moulin Rouge!; it will premiere in all territories in 2016. Grandmaster Flash will serve as an associate producer and adviser on the drama.

Abdul-Mateen is repped by Gersh and Anonymous Content.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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