The next major franchise to land in Chicago is here. The popular Starz franchise POWER will be sending its highly anticipated spinoff series POWER BOOK IV: FORCE to the Windy City, with Chicagoans in key roles across the board.
Born and raised in Chicago, POWER star Joseph Sikora (pictured here with Omari Hardwick, whose character James “Ghost” St Patrick was killed in the POWER season finale) will reprise his role as Tommy Egan and serve as the focal point of FORCE, which will chronicle Egan’s life after leaving New York in the original series’ finale.
FORCE Line Producer Rich Lederer confirmed with SCREEN today the series will begin shooting in Chicago on or around January 20, 2021. The series order is for ten one-hour episodes, and will likely shoot through spring, possibly into June. Even more importantly, Lederer confirms the series is indeed set in Chicago, unlike Lederer’s last series he line produced, the wildly popular Fox franchise EMPIRE, where Chicago was shot for New York. As for which Chicago neighborhoods FORCE will be zeroing in on, that is all to be decided at a later date, Lederer tells SCREEN, as FORCE is in very early stages of pre-production, opening offices at Cinespace next month.
Perhaps the biggest Chicago story in this new series is the lead actor himself. Joseph Sikora, who plays the central role of “Tommy Egan,” was born and raised in Chicago on the far Northwest side. He studied acting at the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston and also at Columbia College Chicago, where he received his B.A. degree in Theater. He remains an ensemble member with Chicago’s superb stage troupe Shattered Globe Theatre to this day, and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson award for his role in SGT’s production of FROZEN ASSETS way back in 1999. More from Joe about his Chicago roots, his boss 50 Cent, and the upcoming spinoff in the following interview with 92.3 FM in LA:
Aside from Sikora, Line Producer Rich Lederer, and Unit Production Manager James McAllister, there is one more critical Chicago connection with BOOK IV: FORCE. Series showrunner and executive producer Robert Munic is a Chicago native. Munic was last back home in Illinois while co-executive producing and writing episodes of the afore-mentioned Fox series EMPIRE.
Keeping Your Books Straight
If you’re new to POWER, you might be asking about the other “Books” surrounding BOOK IV. Basically, there are several POWER spinoffs in play. As you would expect, there is a BOOK II and BOOK III, and possibly even a BOOK V. POWER BOOK II: GHOST premiered on Starz in September and has already been renewed for a second season (click here to watch full episodes). This sequel centers on the character of Tariq (played by Michael Rainey Jr.) navigating his new life, in which his desire to shed his father’s legacy comes up against the mounting pressure to save his family. BOOK III: RAISING KANAN, on the other hand, is a prequel chronicling the early years of 50 Cent’s POWER character Kanan, with newcomer Mekai Curtis playing young Kanan; the series reportedly is resuming filming this month.
Following the Chicago series BOOK IV centering on Sikora’s character Tommy, Starz may potentially progress to a final spinoff, POWER BOOK V: INFLUENCE, which would star Larenz Tate in his role of corrupt politician Rashad Tate from the original POWER series. Plans for BOOK V have yet to be finalized.
As we head into 2021, the excitement surrounding BOOK IV: FORCE was best summed up by Starz president of programming Christina Davis. “POWER has been one of the most successful series in premium pay television during its six-year run, garnering more than 10 million multiplatform views in its last two seasons, and we can’t wait to take fans in a whole new direction as we pick up Tommy’s story with POWER BOOK IV: FORCE.”