Baz Luhrmann and Shawn Ryan to collaborate on a TV series about the dawn of hip-hop
Baz Luhrmann is getting himself involved in television projects like the HBO mini-series about Napoleon based on Stanley Kubrick's screenplay and now has another highly touted project he is developing with THE SHIELD's Shawn Ryan. While the new series doesn't have a home yet, Netflix, Amazon, and FX are all interested, according to Vulture.
The series will be a combination of what both Ryan (gritty crime series) and Luhrmann (musical extravaganzas) have become known for but with a subject neither of them seem to have been associated with: hip-hop. The plot is unknown, but Vulture has some details that shed some light:
It will apparently spend its first season in 1977, with disco peaking and the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" still two years away. While it's not a musical characters won't randomly break into song it will have heavy musical elements and performances. (This is Baz Luhrmann, after all.) The series will tell the stories of five young New Yorkers, with a focus on two best friends: one a talented writer, the other a natural performer. A person who's heard the pitch described the series as a coming-of-age story at heart, as well as a look at how hip-hop was born. Episodes may flash forward to reveal the fates of the central two characters. The grim state of New York City at the time high crime, the city's financial crisis also sounds like it might be a character of sorts.
This could be an interesting subject that has not been really examined on television or film before and would be an interesting use for Baz Luhrmann's hyper-visual style. Shawn Ryan has a close association with FX, but this could be just the type of unique project that Netflix is beginning to become known for. I am a fan of Luhrmann's films, including AUSTRALIA, so I am optimistic about this new show. Here's hoping it comes to fruition.