Another day, another project called Empire that crucially fails to chart the day-to-day happenings in Empire Towers. It’s almost as if writers and directors simply aren’t enthralled by the wild, dangerous and frankly insane goings-on here. The bizarre conversations! The stereo squabbles! The banana consumption! Seriously: Vince Gilligan, call us. Anyway, what were we on about? Oh yes, Empire, which appears to be a mini-reunion for The Butler folk as director Lee Daniels is set to shoot the pilot and Terrence Howard is on to star.
The Butler connection continues with writer Danny Strong, who is also penning the script for a first episode to be produced by Brian Grazer. Empire is apparently a family drama set in the hip-hop music business. Howard will be Lucious Lyon, described as “a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public. Raised on the streets, he has never backed away from a fight and will resort to any measures, fair or foul, to defend his beloved Empire.”
Fox TV in the US is looking to take this one directly to series, aiming to break away from the traditional model of pilot development and show commissioning. It also marks Howard’s continuing relationship with TV, following a stint on the short-lived Los Angeles-based Law & Order spin-off and his work on M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming miniseries Wayward Pines.