Following the Hollywood Reporter’s initial report that the Baz Luhrmann-helmed Netflix series The Get Down is the most expensive series in history, Luhrmann issued a response to the publication.
“I heard The Crown was the most expensive show ever made, that’s what someone told me,” Luhrmann told Hollywood Reporter. “Yes, it took longer and it’s been more difficult than I imagined. As for the number, it wasn’t cheap. But I don't think it’s the most expensive show. I think it’s on the high end of storytelling.”
Production of the 12-episode season of The Get Down went over the original budget of about $7.5 million per episode and cost approximately $120 million overall, with New York state tax incentives factored in, according to reports.
The two-part series, the first of which premieres August 12, was split into two due to the complexity of its production and post-production. It was reported that production had started, stopped and stalled many times and that scripts were rewritten. Luhrmann went through two showrunners and numerous writers.
The Hollywood Reporter states that music and dance elements were a big factor in the increased budget because the scenes had to be mapped out in advance before the scripts could be completed. The stop-and-start of production also contributed to the expense because a large portion of the company had to remain on payroll.
The Get Down is among the most expensive series in history, according to reports, and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos felt strongly about Luhrmann committing to the project from beginning to end.
As previously reported, the musical TV series concerns the birth of the hip hop movement in New York. The story, which features Broadway vet Jimmy Smits, is told through the lives and music of a group of South Bronx teens in the 1970s.
Along with Golden Globe winner Smits, the cast of The Get Down features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Mamoudou Athie, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Giancarlo Esposito (Seesaw, Merrily We Roll Along), Herizen F. Guardiola, Shameik Moore and Justice Smith.
Writers on the series include Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, Nelson George, Radha Blank, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Sam Bromell, Jacqueline Rivera, Thomas Kelly and Tony-nominated playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. Luhrmann is executive producer with Kelly, Shawn Ryan, Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Marney Hochman and Guirgis.