Empire spinoff with Taraji P. Henson in the works at Fox

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Empire's Cookie Lyon may not be put to rest at Fox anytime soon. It has been announced that Taraji P. Henson is developing an Empire spinoff based on her character Cookie Lyon from the parent series which recently ended after a six-year run. The spinoff is under a new first-look deal that Henson has signed with 20th Century Fox TV.

The Cookie spinoff has been rumored since before Empire wrapped its run earlier this year. Many thought Henson may not be interested in the project because she has expressed a desire to focus more on making films but as Empire was ending its run, executive producers and series creators Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, began pitching Henson on the idea and she began to come around on the potential spinoff. The long-rumored Cookie series will be written and executive produced by Strong, Stacy Littlejohn, and Yolonda Lawrence. With Empire vet Sanaa Hamri set to direct, the trio will serve as co-showrunners on the spinoff if the Henson, Daniels, Brian Grazer, and Samie Falvey EP’d LA-set project goes to pilot. Strong just recently his deal with 20th Century Fox TV earlier this year and has various projects in development on top of the newly announced Empire spinoff. 

Henson has teamed up with Working Title alum Christine Conley to help her run her newly formed TPH Entertainment. Along with the spinoff, Henson will be developing new projects across various platforms. The actress had this to say about her latest endeavor:

"I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace. Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation. I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!"

20th Century Fox TV is also excited to continue to work with Henson saying "We were lucky to have a front-row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire. 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."

I'm happy for Henson getting to develop new projects although I kind of wish she was stepping away from Empire and the Cookie Lyon character. The role is a force, no doubt about that, but I think after six years playing her Henson should explore other options because her talent is much more than this one character. Stoked to see her have this deal with Fox though and to see what projects she will be developing in the future. 

Do YOU want the Empire spinoff to happen?

Source: Deadline

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