Lee Daniels seems pretty confident about the possibility of an Empire spinoff. While Fox co-chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman got critics amped for more Empire at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Thursday, Daniels got busy teasing a potential addition to the Empire empire. “I think there is going to be a spinoff from Empire without question,” Daniels said during a TCA press tour panel. According to Daniels, “there’s so much ripe story” in Cookie Lyon’s past, suggesting he has a Cookie Lyon origin story in mind for the theoretical spinoff. Daniels also mentioned Lucious’s past, but who really wants more Lucious when there could be more Cookie?
For now, the spinoff only exists in Daniels’s dreams. Fox clarified that there is no spinoff formally in the works, but considering the kind of numbers Empire pulls, a spinoff doesn’t sound like too out-there of an idea. Empire may have been overlooked at the Emmys this year, but its success across television ratings and music rankings is staggering, not to mention unprecedented. Daniels is also working on a new musical pilot for Fox about an Atlanta-based R&B girl group.
On the press tour, Daniels also commented on how he’s wary of stunt casting in the upcoming second season. “The more celebrities and stars I put on the show, the more it takes away from the family,” he said. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from booking Oprah, Common, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, Marisa Tomei, Lenny Kravitz, and Mariah Carey for season two, which now has its first trailer.