Taraji P. Henson will join Terrence Howard in Lee Daniels’ collaboration with his The Butler writer, Danny Strong, and Brian Grazer – a hip hop drama series titled Empire, at FOX.
The project, which reportedly sparked a bidding war among the 4 major broadcast networks last year, received a pilot commitment from FOX, and is described as a drama about a family-run hip-hop empire, hence the title.
Danny Strong and Daniels are co-writing the pilot script, which Daniels will direct, with Strong, Daniels, Grazer and Francie Calfo executive producing.
Howard will play a Lucious Lyon, a charismatic, but tough chief of a record label titled Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO.
Meanwhile, Henson will play Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon, who’s described as a “total badass” with a prison record (she served 17 years for dealing drugs, and used the money to help finance Lucious’ growing music empire, when it was still in its early days).
She’s now out of prison, and has come for what’s hers!
Jussie Smollett will play their son, Jamal, a fledgling rapper himself, who, is also gay – something that Lucious, the father, has a problem with.