717 Spotlight.

Taraji P. Henson

Cookie’s reign is far from over. According to Deadline, Taraji P. Henson has signed a new two-year first-look deal with 20th Century Fox and the “first order of business” is developing a spinoff based on her “Empire” character.

“Empire” concluded its six-season run on Fox earlier this year. Henson snagged a Golden Globe and two Emmy nods for her portrayal of the record exec and matriarch of the Lyon family.

Sanaa Hamir, who directed 19 episodes of “Empire,” is on board to helm the spinoff. Her other TV credits include “Shameless,” “Glee,” and “Nashville.” Her best known work on the big screen is “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.”

“Empire” alumni Stacy Littlejohn, Yolonda Lawrence, and Danny Strong are set to serve as showrunners on the the project.

Henson has joined forces with Christine Conley, formerly of Working Title, on her newly formed TPH Entertainment.

“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson said of TPH and her first look deal. “Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation,” she emphasized. “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 Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”

Cassidy, 20th Century Fox president, added, “We were lucky to have a front row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through ‘Empire.’ Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With ‘Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”

Henson received an Oscar nod in 2009 for her supporting role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” “The Best of Enemies,” “What Men Want,” and “Hidden Figures” are among her more recent film credits.–