*Lee Daniels is known for many hit films. Now he’s making his way over to TV.
And he’s bringing some of Hollywood’s hottest talent for the ride along.
Henson will play Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon played by Howard.
Howard’s character owns hip-hop record label Empire Entertainment who discovers he has less than three years to live due to an illness.
Henson’s character is an ex-convict who served 17 years for selling drugs — helping finance the label and wanting her share.
But their three sons are gunning to take over the throne too.
Daniels dished to the Hollywood Reporter about being pretty excited about the series and his transition to TV.
“I’m trying to adjust! I’m just so thankful for Fox. This is really some cutting-edge stuff, it’s really out there. They understood my and Danny [Strong]‘s vision and they embraced it,” Daniels said. “They encouraged us to create these incredible characters who are based on real people, family members of mine. I think people will be surprised by the subject matter. They won’t know what to make of some of our situations.”
But many believed he could NOT transition into TV.
“Actually, everybody said I couldn’t do a TV show,” he said.
He jokingly continued to drop hints on who doubted the TV transition.
“I can’t say. Someone very famous said it when I was directing her in The Butler. Her name starts with “O.” (Laughs.) She said, ‘You can’t do TV!’ It’s because she knows me so well,” he said.
He added, “Fox doesn’t know me and that’s why that gave me a TV show. No, it’s really wonderful. I’m a filmmaker. I’m always searching for the truth in everything I do. I demand it from my writing partner and my crew, actors, and so hopefully we’re making people think. We’re making statements about sexuality, the African-American experience, what happens when you come from extreme poverty and hit it big and you’re a billionaire? What is jail really like?”
Nevertheless, “Empire” is coming to Fox in early 2015.
Watch the trailer below: