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The Empire co-creator offered plot details at Loyola Marymount’s Hollywood Masters series with THR‘s Stephen Galloway on March 22, revealing that the film — still uncast, except for Winfrey in the Shirley MacLaine role — will be set in the ‘80s and include a storyline about black men who brought HIV/AIDS to their female partners.
“I’ve got to tell stories that are important to me, and so many African-American women died,” said Daniels. “I want to make Flap [played by Jeff Daniels in the 1983 film] gay and infect the Debra Winger character. And then we explore the ‘80s in a different way.”
Other tidbits: Daniels announced his Empire spinoff will be Las Vegas-set and revealed that he’s begun therapy. “They say it works,” he mused. “I’ll find out.”
This story first appeared in the March 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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