With "Power," 50 Cent Built His Own MCU-Inspired TV Universe
50 Cent's evolution from hip-hop icon to TV mastermind might still be a shock to some people, but the transformation has been amazing to witness. His executive-produced "Power" series debuted on Starz in 2014 with a predicted run of only six to seven seasons. But three spinoffs later (along with true-life series "BMF"), the flagship show has helped certify 50 Cent's reputation as a TV mogul.
"I didn't start to look at the Power universe until after it worked."
Even though "Power" became wildly popular with a passionate fanbase to match, 50 Cent didn't initially see a cinematic universe in its future. "I didn't start to look at the Power universe until after it worked," he tells POPSUGAR exclusively. "Like season six [of 'Power'], I started talking to Starz about potentially doing the spinoffs and universe out of it. And it worked out with 'Raising Kanan' [taking] us back into the '90s, then came the 'Force' project. The fourth show is like the natural spinoff."
Fans who have been following the franchise since the beginning have been clamoring for a Tommy Egan spinoff for years, and now it's finally happening. "Power Book IV: Force" — the Joseph Sikora-led series believed to be the final one in the franchise — picks up on Tommy's story right after "Power Book II: Ghost"'s season one finale when he fakes his own death to escape a murder charge in New York City. In the upcoming show, Tommy encounters new rules, friends, and enemies as he tries to take over the drug game in Chicago.
According to 50 Cent, "Power Book IV: Force" aims to bring more awareness to Chicago and incorporates elements from the city that feel recognizable. With other successful spinoffs under his belt — created by people like Courtney Kemp and Sascha Penn — 50 Cent was able to approach "Power Book IV: Force" with ease because he knew he was "saving the best for last."
Sikora tells POPSUGAR that he thought his spinoff would be the second series in the Power franchise but reveals 50 Cent made him wait a little while before it came to fruition. "50 will tell you that he told me, 'Just relax, it's coming,'" he says. "And as everything that 50 promises, it happens. He's a marketing genius, an entrepreneurial genius, and now he's an entertainment conglomerate genius. He makes it happen, and I couldn't be more proud to work for and with Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson."
50 Cent hopes to see his newest Power spinoff resonate with the show's dedicated fans who have been waiting for this full-circle moment for years. Family has been the anchor for every Power series thus far, but Tommy's fresh start away from the place near and dear to him completely shatters that theme in "Power Book IV: Force." Now, he'll be tasked with finding family on his own terms.
"It's a different dynamic because he already has a broken family," 50 Cent shares. "Mom's crazy, Pop's already out of here. So it's a lot of different things, but for family dramas, it's a different kind of drama." Sikora adds: "Who is Tommy going to choose to align himself with?"
"I want to make those moments [too] because music is still important to me."
The cultural impact of the Power universe is a large part of its continued success. The same way the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a staple for comic-lovers, 50 Cent's Power franchise has etched its own place in Starz's network (which many argue should become 50 Cent's network).
The intention behind the executive producer's cinematic universe was to make a series that could allow him to let music lead the story — similar to the classic 1972 film "Super Fly" and its soundtrack album created by Curtis Mayfield. "There's points where the lead character is staring off and the music is saying what he's thinking," he explains. "He was so in tune with what the music was about that Curtis's soundtrack said it for him instead of him having to say it . . . I want to make those moments [too] because music is still important to me."
The theme songs for Power's shows alone — which include Joe's "Big Rich Town" and 50 Cent's "Part of the Game" — have become huge phenomena loved by their fans. Now, 50 Cent introduces a new entry to join the bunch, performed by Chicago's own Jeremih and Lil Durk. Speaking on his own track record for turning old hit songs into new hits for today's generation, 50 Cent playfully jokes that some of these artists owe him credit for making that happen. "They really owe me, man, those artists owe me money, making them connect," he says.
Beyond the Power universe, 50 Cent has even more shows in the works at Starz — including a hip-hop anthology series with Snoop Dogg and another drama based on African warrior Queen Nzinga. And although "Power Book IV: Force" may close the loop on the Power world, anything is still possible.
"Power Book IV: Force"'s series premiere airs on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 9 p.m. ET.