Earlier this week at the TCA press tour, networks heads weren't ruling out possible spinoffs for current shows, and Fox chairman Dana Walden still says there are talks of one for Empire.
An Empire prequel telling the backstory of a younger Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has been a concept that has been talked about since as early as Season 1. Lee Daniels even confirmed it in 2017.
This may have been the reason behind a storyline that featured flashbacks of a younger Cookie and Luscious in 2016. In the flashbacks, Young Cookie was portrayed by Aijona Alexus and Jeremy Carver as Young Lucious. Since portraying Young Cookie, Alexus has gone on to star in the controversial Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why and will co-star with Gabrielle Union in the film Breaking In.
At the TCA press tour, Walden said, “We’ve had conversations for a full year about a potential spin-off, no one has written it yet. Ultimately I think if something comes organically out of the show, we’d pursue it. We don’t want to force it on the show because if it doesn’t feel organic it will feel like it will be just a distraction from the flagship. We really believe in the show, we want it to live for a very long time and at a certain point, after one-two seasons, the creators felt that the flagship was the priority and we support that.”
It is unknown if the spinoff Walton was referring to would be the "Young Cookie" concept.
Some may consider Daniels' other Fox show, Star, to technically be an Empire spinoff as an upcoming crossover special will confirm they exist in the same universe.