Taraji P. Henson To Star In ‘Empire’ Spinoff In Development At FOX
Details surrounding an Empire spinoff starring Taraji P. Henson, are surfacing. The actress is set to reprise her role as Cookie Lyon in the potential series to be held on FOX.
Taraji P. Henson’s newly launched production company, TPH Entertainment, will produce the Empire spinoff which is in development, and is the first project to stem from a newly signed two-year, first-look deal that she has signed with Empire producers 20th Century Fox TV.
According to reports, Danny Strong — who co-created Empire with Lee Daniels — will be joined by the franchise’s Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy Littlejohn to co-write the series. The three will also serve as show runners, according to reports.
Though details about the show have not been revealed, it’s reported that the series will follow Cookie Lyon to Los Angeles and potentially show some of her other family members.
In April 2020, Lee Daniels announced that the Empire finale had to air earlier than expected due to the pandemic.
In two separate statements, the series creators and executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong have addressed the abrupt ending of the show, confirming it’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Lee Daniels teased that while the show is ending now, we might see an alternate ending in the future. He said,
“The success of Empire and bringing the Lyon family to broadcast television will always be one of the proudest achievements of my career. This show is the definition of breaking barriers. Thank you to our incredible cast, especially Terrence [Howard] and Taraji [Henson], along with our amazing writers and tireless crew, for all of their hard work and bringing this story to life. I think there’s more to do with these characters, and I’m heartbroken we aren’t getting to shoot the finale we wanted—at least not yet. But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned! To the Empire!”
Daniel Strong also said,
“We’re so proud of this show and of everything this incredible cast – led by Taraji and Terrence- and crew accomplished over six seasons. The episode airing on April 21 was never meant to be the series finale, but due to current events it will likely be the last one our fans will see for a while. We had an ending for the series planned that we all loved, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to film it and give the series its proper conclusion. But we hope everyone tunes in to our last original episode, because the work done by our cast and crew deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible. Big thank you to Fox for being our home for these many years. And here’s hoping this isn’t the end!”
In 2019, Fox’s CEO Charlie Collier alluded to the possibility that there may be more of this story in the future.
On the potential of spinoffs, he says:
“We’re in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business, if there is more story to tell we want to hear it”.
When Empire launched in January 2015, Cookie Lyon was an instant hit with fans. Throughout the 6 seasons that it aired, the musical Lyon family, also starring Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, and many special guests, navigated trials and tribulations with the end goal of keeping the family name alive and in tact.
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