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It looks as if Jaden Smith is making the big transition to television. News broke today that the spawn of Will Smith is heading to Netflix, where he has taken a role in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming series The Get Down. Smith is set to play teen character Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling, a graffiti writer living in the South Bronx. He’ll be “psychedelically talented,” because those are the first descriptors that come to mind when thinking about Jaden Smith.
The Get Down’s been coming together over at Netflix for some time now. We already know that it’s a TV musical that will take place in the South Bronx in the 1970s, because if there are two things Luhrmann loves, it’s showy music and period settings. The show will explore the burgeoning hip-hop, punk and disco scenes. So far, a ton of names have already signed on, including Sons of Anarchy’s Jimmy Smits, who boarded two weeks ago to play political leader Francisco Cruz, a.k.a. Papa Fuerte. In addition, The Get Down has signed on a whole bunch of other actors and actresses, including Herizen Guardiola, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Tremaine Brown Jr, Yaha Abdul-Mateen, and Mamoudou Athie. Suffice to say, Smith is one of the bigger names in the series.
It’s a little surprising to hear that Jaden Smith has taken on the role. It’s not that I have any beef with Smith’s ability to sing, but it was just a few weeks ago that he was seemingly confirmed to be playing Static Shock in the potential digital TV series. Some actors obviously have the time for more than one TV gig at once, and we’ve heard no word that the Static Shock project is even off of the ground, yet, but it’s still a bit odd to hear these flurries of news so close together.
The Get Down may not seem like a huge project for Smith, but the actor hasn’t done a lot in the way of endearing himself to the public in recent years. From railing against formal education to saying absolutely wild shit in interviews, he’s not exactly the darling of the public. Which would be fine, if he would still rock out as an actor. Unfortunately, Smith’s last flick, After Earth, was not particularly well-received. Perhaps that’s why the actor is giving a TV project a shot. He really needs a hit to remind people that there is some talent inside him, as seen in his early work like Pursuit of Happyness.
As for how The Get Down is going to fare, it’s difficult to tell. Netflix has had a pretty good track record with interesting original programming and attaching Baz Luhrmann is certainly an interesting move. We’ll just have to hope The Get Down has a little more Moulin Rouge in it than Australia.