We're all suffering the withdrawal symptoms--being tempted more than once to buy a leopard print dress, stalking Jussie Smollett's Twitter page, and listening to the Empire soundtrack on repeat.
Thankfully, Danny Strong and Wendy Calhoun, co-creator and co-executive producer, respectively, of the FOX hit, have given us some tidbits to hang onto until the season 2 premiere in the fall. They spoke at a panel during the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday (June 5).
Some highlights are below.
1. We'd better put on our armor for the sophomore season, because things are about to get (even more) intense.
"Season 1 was 'Who will inherit the throne?' and Season 2 is warring kingdoms [and seeing] the kingdoms go to war over the throne. A thing we talk about in the writers' room all the time is Game of Thrones, which goes back to the King Lear of it all. This telling of a modern-day soap opera, and framing it in an epic mythological kingdom-type framework is the most exciting part of the show. [There will be] a continuation of battles at that level," Strong said.
2. Although the season will contain 18 episodes, it'll be split into two parts and the creators plan to focus on them as though they were actually separate seasons, a la shows like Nashville.
3. Calhoun is a fan of the Cookie/Andre dynamic, and the season will explore that relationship, as well as delving into others she didn't name.
4. I, personally, loved seeing guest stars in the first season, but Strong assured the audience that they won't be going overboard with the famous faces this time around.
"For me, it's personally frustrating. I just don't think we need to stunt-cast so much, and there's pressure to. As an actor myself, I want to hire people who are talented that were like me and need the job and it's a great opportunity, as opposed to someone who is so famous, that's a fun thing to do for pocket change," he explained.
Empire returns on September 23.