Hustle & Flow co-stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard will be reuniting to headline Empire, the Fox TV pilot helmed by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. The drama takes place in the midst of a family-run hip-hop empire. Howard will be playing Lucious Lyon, who runs a record label. Henson will be playing Lucious’ ex-wife, Cookie Lyon, an ex-con who has just been released after serving 17 years in prison for dealing drugs to fund Lucious’ then-struggling record label. After being released for good behavior, naturally, Cookie is looking to reclaim what’s hers.
As if all of that isn’t enough, it turns out that Cookie was the driving force behind Lucious’ rise to super stardom and now she’s looking to do the same with the couple’s homosexual son, Jamal, who will be played by Jussie Smollet. This puts Cookie at odds with Lucious, who has rejected and shunned his son since childhood because of his sexuality. Jamal is actually the couple’s middle son of three and is described as “a sensitive soul and musical prodigy who could easily rise to superstardom if he desires.”