Lucious, the founder and CEO of a successful record label has been diagnosed with ALS. He must choose one of his three sons to take over the company when he dies. Meanwhile, his ex wife and co-founder, Cookie, has been released from prison and wants to reclaim her rightful place in the company.Written by
This morning I paused to think of what story I read or movie I'd seen that reminded me of the "Empire" television series and damn it if Lee Daniels didn't steal that storyline right from one of my favorite movies of 1968 and of all time; "The Lion in Winter." The movie starred Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn (you must see it and you will know what I'm talking about right down to the three sons and the manipulative queen mother). Without spoiling the film for you, it's a story set in 1183 England about the many machinations that take place over who will be heir to the throne as King Henry II of England entertains his family and King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton) at his winter castle, Chinon, after he has allowed the queen, who he has temporarily released from prison, to visit for Christmas. Once Christmas is over, the king plans to exile the queen once again to the Tower. The queen must make her move to avoid prison, continued alienation from her sons and to seize what she believes is hers by birth right, the Aquitaine, a grand patch of land, which will restore her to the world of wealth and power. Unfortunately for Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Henry II has his own plans for the Aquitaine, plans which will make England more powerful than ever, plans that will make England an "Empire."
For either to triumph, Henry and Eleanor must wage an all out war of wits, cunning and deception against each other, using the hopes, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses of their children as their battleground and weaponry. The son chosen as Henry's successor will determine the future and fortune for Eleanor and England.
This powerful story also stars Sir Anthony Hopkins in his cinematic film debut as the eldest prince, Richard the Lionheart.
The learned viewer will recognize Lee Daniels' homage to the film through the television series' main character's very name, Luscious Lyon. While much is different from the 1968 film, much remains the same and each telling is the richer for it.
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