The Empire finale earlier this year will not be the way the “Cookie crumbled.” Reports are surfacing that Taraji P. Henson, who starred as the indomitable Cookie Lyon on the hit Fox nighttime soap, is bringing the fan-favorite back in a spinoff series.
Empire Spinoff In The Works
Deadline reports that Henson has a first look new deal with 20th Century Fox TV and the first project that will be looked at will be a Cookie spinoff. Empire was created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels.
The talked about Cookie-based series will be written and executive produced by Strong, Stacy Littlejohn, and Yolonda Lawrence. Sanaa Hamri (Empire) will direct.
As Empire fans recall, the series finale was cut short since production had to wrap up early due to the coronavirus. And now, if things work out, viewers may have new episodes featuring Cookie and possibly other Empire characters in their viewing future.
“We were lucky to have a front row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire,” said Cassidy Thursday, 20th Century Fox TV president. “Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”
In Empire’s premiere, Cookie got out of jail and reunited with her family: her ex, Lucious (Terrence Howard), and their three sons, Andre (Trai Byers), Jamal (Jussie Smollett), and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray).
Daniels revealed in interviews that Cookie was based on a few people, including his sister, Joan Collins’s Dynasty character Alexis, and Gypsy’s Mama Rose.
She founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her father, a Vietnam Veteran, who suffered with mental health challenges as a result of his tour of duty. She is committed to changing the perception of mental illness in the African-American community and embraced the producers and writers wanting Cookie to pursue therapy.