Friday, November 26, 2021

Showrunner Courtney Kemp Dishes on ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Season 1 Finale and Future of Series

D188E44D-9393-4A99-AE70-FE74D460E6A9_1_201_a
Mary J. Blige, Michael Rainey, Jr. and Naturi Naughton in Behind the Scenes video of “Power Book II: Ghost”

*The excerpts below contain SPOILERS about Sunday’s season 1 finale “Power Book II: Ghost.”

Series creator Courtney Kemp dished with Deadline about Sunday night’s Season 1 finale and the future of the hit Starz drama. She also teased details about the upcoming 50 Cent produced prequel “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” and what to expect from “Power Book IV: Force.”

When asked if fans are going to see more of Tasha (Naturi Naughton) in “Ghost” or is she gone, Kemp explained, “what I think I can say is that Tariq was made a choice to save his mom but it’s a choice that he doesn’t have total control over because he doesn’t know where she’s going. So, I think what will come up in the next season is his lack of ability to contact his mother, to be with his mother and to have that connection,” she said. Adding, “You know in trying to build the coming-of-age story, we really did have training wheels on Tariq in the first season which in the form of his mother,” Kemp shared. 

“So, he turns 18 and by the end of the season he’s sending his mother away. Part of the journey of Season 2 is absolutely going through and making decisions without the benefit of someone to call,” she continued.

Check out additional excerpts from the conversation below.

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DEADLINE: So, with all the trials and tribulations of the last year, how does it feel to see Season 1 of Power Book II: Ghost finished?

KEMP: Wow. Well, let’s see. It’s so funny because the title of episode 101 of Power, the first Power, was “Not Exactly How We Planned” and that is the hallmark of this season, especially as Covid has made everything so different. So, when we were going to be having this conversation it would have been a different time of year and would have been different, and so I guess how I feel is exhausted, I feel exhausted and very grateful.

DEADLINE: There’s a lot of poignant deaths in the finale, Tommy Egan is back and then gone and Naturi’s Tasha is finally out of jail and then in a protection program as the extent of Tariq’s evolution becomes evident to her. So, are we going to see more of Tasha in Ghost or is she gone?

KEMP: What I think I can say is that Tariq was made a choice to save his mom but it’s a choice that he doesn’t have total control over because he doesn’t know where she’s going. So, I think what will come up in the next season is his lack of ability to contact his mother, to be with his mother and to have that connection. You know in trying to build the coming-of-age story, we really did have training wheels on Tariq in the first season which in the form of his mother.

So, he turns 18 and by the end of the season he’s sending his mother away. Part of the journey of Season 2 is absolutely going through and making decisions without the benefit of someone to call.

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50 Cent & Courtney Kemp
Courtney Kemp & 50 Cent

DEADLINE: On the topics of adults, there’s Michael Rainey, who has grown from a child on Power to a cold as ice man on Ghost. We’ve talked about his growth before, but by the season’s end he is clearly a leading man and with strong shoulders in which he carries it, because let’s be clear, the world of Power has only gotten more intense, more violent, and more sexual and more intriguing than it was in the first show to the world of Ghost.

KEMP: I really love the way you just said that, and thank you for that compliment.

I did have some people who told me that they didn’t believe that he could handle a show, and they were wrong and I knew it. I know Michael, I know how he is. When you know someone since they were 11 you get to get a sense of them, and his mother is an amazing woman and you know, he is an incredible actor and capable of showing a lot of layers of a very difficult part. Tariq’s not an easy part to play. You’ve got to be a lot of different people in this character.

I have to give 50 credit for the actor’s journey that Michael has been on.

They spent so much time together in some formative years you know, that story of Tariq and Kanan was a heavy amount of his work. Michael spent time with Naturi, with Omari, and with Joseph. You know, he’s had great actors to work with. Now he’s spending time obviously with Mary and with Method Man and he’s got all these great teachers around him and he’s learning from them. Rainey is a serious person. He’s a serious actor, he’s been doing this a long time, a lot longer than some other people and he’s a very serious young man

DEADLINE: To that, how far have you mapped out Ghost? Do you see it, is it a six-season show, a five-season show?

KEMP: I think I have, in my mind I have five or six seasons

The big shift that would happen in Season 5, the big shift that I’m planning for Season 5 would take the show in a direction where frankly it could go on forever. The show could go for 10 seasons or more considering that shift and it’s a big shift. But if that yeah, we could go forward for sure and do some fun stuff.

But that depends on whether we make it there. You know, I would love to make it there, but it’s all about the fans. If the fans stay interested in the story that we want to tell then we will keep going forward, but I’m very excited about the long-term storytelling.

One thing that I will mention is that we decided to take Ghost into politics because politics is a great place for liars. There are other careers that are great places for liars and there might be a really nice way to bring Tariq into the real world.

Read the full interview over at Deadline.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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