Power Book III: Raising Kanan —The Coming of Age Prequel Continues With Tony® Winner Patina Miller
Written by: Tammy Reese
The Power Universe is taking us way back..way back into time...
Set in South Jamaica Queens in the early ’90s, the prequel about the early years of the now-deceased iconic “Power” character Kanan Stark, portrayed in the original “Power” series by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, premieres on Sunday, July 18 at 8 PM ET/PT on STARZ and across all platforms in the U.S. and Canada, airing day and date internationally on the STARZPLAY premium streaming platform across its complete footprint in Europe, Latin America and Japan. Starz greenlighted the second season of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” ahead of the series premiere on July 18. The season renewal comes amidst strong demand for the upcoming premiere of the third book in the growing “Power” Universe franchise.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan Trailer
The third book in the “Power” Universe stars Patina Miller (“Madam Secretary,” The Hunger Games Franchise) as Raquel “Raq” Thomas and Mekai Curtis in the titular role as Kanan Stark.
(Patina Miller as Raquel “Raq” Thomas and Mekai Curtis as Kanan Stark)
Legendary Actor Omar Epps Guest Stars in the series getting back in his 90’s element where we all first embraced his talent with films like “Juice”, and “Higher Learning.” Epps portrays the arch-enemy of South Jamaica as Detective Malcolm Howard. He is constantly harassing its residents in an attempt to keep things in line, a feeble attempt at cleaning up the most dangerous neighborhood in NYC in 1991. He has a special cold, dark place in his heart for Raq, though we don’t know why.
(Omar Epps as Detective Malcolm Howard)
Patina, being a woman of power with a lead role and a woman in the entertainment industry shares advice for women who aspire to pursue their entertainment careers. Also, Omar shares with us the dynamic on set as a legend and iconic actor working with new actors.
“One season isn’t enough to tell the coming of age story of Kanan Stark and his mother, Raq, a fierce and successful woman who is a force of nature,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President, and CEO of STARZ. “The anticipation globally for more of the ‘Power’ Universe made it clear that the Kanan story needs to continue.”
Other cast members include London Brown (“Ballers”), Malcolm Mays (“Them,” “Snowfall”), Hailey Kilgore (“Amazing Stories”), Joey Bada$$ (Two Distant Strangers), Toby Sandeman (“The Royals”), Shanley Caswell (The Conjuring) and Lovie Simone (The Craft: Legacy) with Quincy Brown (Dope) recurring. Antonio Ortiz (“High Fidelity,” “The Sinner”) has been upped to a series regular role returning as Shawn “Famous” Figueroa in the second season.
(London Brown as Marvin Thomas)
(Malcolm Mays as Louis "Lou-Lou" Thomas)
London Brown (Marvin Thomas), Malcolm Mays (Louis "Lou-Lou" Thomas), and Hailey Kilgore (Jukebox) describe how they feel the audience will react to their particular characters. Halie also shares what she enjoys most about playing the role of Jukebox who is Kanan's cousin.
Jukebox is quick-witted, fiercely independent, strong. An incredible singer. She hangs with the boys and takes no shit. Jukebox is Marvin’s daughter and Kanan’s cousin. She is Kanan’s closest confidant–they keep each other’s secrets, and always have each other's backs. Jukebox is determined to forge her own path, scrapping and hustling to make the money to record a demo tape to launch her music career. Jukebox has always known she’s queer (a secret she has shared with Kanan)–but when she falls for a girl from a very different background, she is overwhelmed by the powerful emotions she feels as she embarks on this new relationship–one that would be absolutely forbidden in both their parents’ eyes.
(Hailey Kilgore as Jukebox)
Sascha Penn returns as creator/writer/showrunner and will continue executive producing alongside Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney A. Kemp.
How does Sascha get into the writing zone and what does he think is the “IT” factor to the Power Universe? He shares his thoughts with us.
The “Power” Universe series is executive produced by “Power” creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her production company End of Episode and through her overall deal with Lionsgate Television, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through G-Unit Film and Television, and Mark Canton through Atmosphere Entertainment MM. End of Episode’s Chris Selak, Shana Stein, and Bart Wenrich also executive produce. Kevin Fox also serves as executive producer. Lionsgate Television produces the series for STARZ.
“Raising Kanan” is a prequel to the original “Power” franchise. It is a sprawling family drama that revolves around the coming of age of Kanan Stark; Ghost and Tommy’s mentor, partner, and adversary, who ultimately dies in a hail of gunfire in the eighth episode of Power’s penultimate season. When we catch up with Kanan here, he is the fifteen-year-old only child of Raquel “Raq” Thomas, a cocaine distributor with an emerging network of dealers across the city. Much like the original “Power,” “Raising Kanan” explores themes of identity, violence, and legacy, but it is also a deep dive into the very pathology of family; the unique, complicated, and fraught dynamic between parent and child, mother and father, brother and sister.
In an increasingly fractious world, family often feels like the only refuge from all the divisiveness and discord, and yet, at the same time, we often discover that it is those closest to us who betray us and our values most. The first season of “Raising Kanan” is an exploration of these betrayals, the secrets and lies that accompany them, and the ways in which they fester, metastasize, and ultimately erupt.
The overarching theme of this first season is, “You reap what you sow.” In other words, actions have consequences; betrayals are always uncovered; secrets are inevitably revealed; chickens come home to roost. Every character in “Raising Kanan” is hiding something. From the world, from each other, from themselves. And as our story unfolds, they each will have to grapple with the unintended and destructive consequences of the information they’ve hidden and withheld.
And while the ways in which these betrayals, secrets, and lies reveal themselves will vary, one truth will remain constant: In “Raising Kanan,” as in the “Power” Universe, no one can be trusted and nothing is ever as it seems.
Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner Courtney Kemp fills us in on how she would like “Power” fans to react.
Check out the new theme song here:
Photo credit: © 2020 Starz Entertainment, LLC