According to Deadline, Queen Latifah has signed on for a starring role in project, Fox’s untitled pilot from Empire co-creator Lee Daniels (aka Star). The pilot, which launched a nationwide open casting call for its young leads, also has locked in actresses/singers to play the three girls whose stories will be at the center of the drama series — up-and-comers Jude Demorest (Dallas), Ryan Destiny (Low Winter Sun) and Brittany O’Grady (The Messengers).
Created, co-written and directed by Daniels, the pilot follows three young women (Demorest, Destiny, O’Grady), who form a girl group with hopes of making it big in the music industry, and the choices with which they’re faced along the way. Queen Latifah anchors the cast as Carlotta, the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon, with an amazing voice, who will become a surrogate mother to the three girls – even though she doesn’t approve of their musical dreams. Demorest, from Detroit, MI, has landed the role of Star, the tough 18-year-old who spent her childhood in and out of foster homes after the death of her mother, and who will do anything to become the star she was named to be. Destiny, also from Detroit, MI, has been cast as Alexandra, the wealthy 20-year-old who grew up on New York’s Upper East Side, but who,for years, has tried to put her privileged world behind her, so she can make real, authentic music. O’Grady, from Washington, DC, will play Simone, Star’s younger sister who dreams of the day Star will return to rescue her from the abusive foster home in which she was placed five years before. Together, the three will chase their dreams of making it big in the glamorous but cut-throat Atlanta music scene.