The Get Down is officially down for the count.
Netflix has canceled the ambitious (and expensive) music period drama from Baz Luhrmann after one season.
Debuting last summer — with the second half of season 1 premiering in April — The Get Down was set in New York circa the late ’70s and chronicled the rise of hip hop as experienced by a group of teenagers. Production proved to be difficult, with original showrunner Shawn Ryan departing early on and filming being shut down on multiple occasions. It was the most expensive Netflix series ever, at a reported $120 million to produce.
In a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, co-creator Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) explained why it was “unlikely” that The Get Down would return to production “in the immediate future.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
He also left open the door for the show to take on a different form. “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 wrote. “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.”
Luhrmann has been talking about a second season since last year, and just last month, he sounded optimistic about a new batch of episodes, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “We have great plans moving forward.” He did say he would be taking a step back because of other commitments. “I’ll be hands-on to the extent that an uncle would be, as opposed to a father figure,” he noted.
Last summer, Luhrmann told EW he was “looking for a younger spritely fellow who is capable of carrying the torch” when discussing the possibility that he might dial back his involvement. “As much as I want to walk away from it and just say I’ve done my bit, there’s something in me that says I just can’t do that to that to [the cast and crew]. I have to be there to the bitter end until I feel I’ve done everything I can to let them be everything they can be in the show. And then my job’s done. But until then, it’s my life at the moment.”