Elle Fanning is known to play thoughtful, romantic characters and can quickly become Luhrmann's unlikely damsel-in-distress that we name Dawn. While Dawn is levelheaded, she often finds herself in unavoidable trouble. Dawn could easily become a tribute to Daisy from The Great Gatsby (well, minus the level-headed part).
Playing Zero in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tony Revelori was unthinking and ironic, and we're interested in seeing that persona taken to the extreme in The Get Down. His character, Sean, initially seems indifferent to the immediate troubles facing his friends and his neighborhood. Eventually, a darker past is revealed.
Dev Patel, and his louder-than-life performance as Anwar Kharral on Skins fits perfectly into the character we will name Manu. Manu is the class clown of the gang and often leads the crew into trouble. We soon learn, however, that the jokes and laughter is merely a façade for a more troubling situation at home (isn't everything?).
Luhrmann's over-the-top production begs for over-the-top characters, and who better to cast than Maddie Ziegler, star of Sia's music videos and central character of reality TV show Dance Moms. While she looks big-eyed and sweet in reality, Ziegler proves her range in character in Chandelier or Elastic Heart, where her expressions range from desperation to downright schizophrenic. As the youngest of the cast, we imagine her character, whom we'll name Nina, as a bit of an outcast who spends her time following the older kids, wishing to be included. While youth calls for naivety, growing up in the South Bronx will have hardened her, or at least exposed her to the elements. Regardless, we just want to see Ziegler channel more of the fury and insanity we never knew she had in her.
We envision Luhrmann's leading man as something of a Christian in Moulin Rouge—an unassuming, intelligent, gentleman named Michael. In our version, Michael, who is pensive and often lingers at the back of the group, is played by Tyler James Williams. School and education are Michael's priority, but he is pressured by his friends and environment to dedicate time to the group and whatever antics they might be up to.
Best known for her appearances on various Disney Channel shows, MTV's Eye Candy, and Sundance breakout Dope, we'd like Kiersey Clemons to take on a more serious and forward role as the leader of the group. Named Christina, she will take the role of Luhrmann's typical male protagonist. She is stubborn and assertive, but also the glue that keeps the group together.