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Taraji P. Henson to Star as Cookie Lyon In Potential ‘Empire’ Spinoff

When “Empire” went off the air in April after its sixth and final season, many probably thought the next time they would see Taraji P. Henson’s character Cookie Lyon would be in reruns.

But there’s a good chance that won’t be the case, because Deadline reports that a spinoff of the series focusing on Cookie is now being developed. Henson would star in the potential new series and produce it through her newly formed company TPH Entertainment.

Taraji P. Henson could be playing Cookie Lyon in an “Empire” spinoff. (Photo: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

The spinoff, still in its early stages, would be the first project under a new two-year deal that Henson signed with 20th Century Fox TV. “Empire” creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong would be among the executive producers for the spinoff if it moves forward, as would Henson.

At this time, there hasn’t been a title revealed or any storylines, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Cookie will be moving to Los Angeles, and some of her family members could be featured.

“Empire” had to halt production earlier this year due to the novel coronavirus, so the final episode had to be put together from previously shot footage. So if the spinoff does become a series, writers will have the chance to tie up any open-ended storylines.

In April, Daniels talked about the possibility of bringing back “Empire” characters and continuing with the hip-hop drama in some way.

“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,” he said in a statement. “But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned! To the ‘Empire!'”

Henson spoke of her new deal with 20th Century Fox TV in a press statement and suggested that she would be creating shows that tackle difficult subject matters but in ways that are easy for people to digest.

“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson explained.

“Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation,” she added. “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 [studio president] Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”

Henson also shared news of her new deal on her Instagram page on Thursday, July 23, and simply wrote, “#GodIs 🙏🏾💋💋💋.”

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