‘Power’: 50 Cent Created Kanan Because He Wanted to Be the Meanest Character on Television
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has played a pivotal role in the success of the Starz drama series Power and its various spinoffs. The drama series chronicled the rise and fall of James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), a notorious drug kingpin trying to juggle his double life as a crime lord and a thriving businessman.
Power ended after six seasons on the air. However, the Power Universe has continued to expand with Power Book II: Ghost as well as the forthcoming, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Force, and Power Book V: Influence. 50 Cent has been on board as an executive producer of the Power Universe since creator Courtney A. Kemp pitched him the idea.
He even created his villainous Power character Kanan Stark because he wanted to play one of the meanest characters to ever grace a TV screen.
50 Cent originally wanted to portray James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick on ‘Power’
As an executive producer, actor, and director in the Power Universe, 50 Cent wears many hats. However, before Hardwick was cast as Ghost he almost took on the role. “There was a point when I had to keep [Courtney] on this project,” 50 Cent told ESSENCE in 2017. “I said, ‘I’m going to play Ghost, I’m going to play the lead and you can just go make the show.’ She was like, ‘OK.’ Then when we got the show got picked up, she was like, ‘Listen, this means, you don’t do this, you don’t do this and you don’t do this.’ Then I was like, ‘So, can I do something else?’”
After learning he would only be able to star in the series without being able to take on the other various roles that he now holds, 50 Cent gave up on the idea of playing Ghost. However, this allowed him to take on the role of Kanan.
50 Cent created Kanan because he wanted to be the meanest character on TV
Though portraying Ghost didn’t work out, 50 Cent and Kemp still wanted to make sure the Queens-born rapper could flex his acting chops on screen. “Creating Kanan came out of that which is the best thing ever, ” Kemp told ESSENCE. “When we created Kanan, I said, ‘What do you want?’ He said, ‘I want to be the worse character on television. I want to be the meanest character on television.’ I was like, ‘OK! Do you want to kill your son then? I got that for you.’ It’s grown from there, but we really tried to create something that would have that notoriety that would allow people to see that different side of someone who is really a street dude, really in the code, and what that comes to if you don’t ever divert.”
What is ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ about?
Though Kanan Stark met a pretty explosive end in Season 5 of Power, Power Book III: Raising Kanan will showcase the character in a way that fans have never seen before. Set in Queens in 1991, the series will follow 15-year-old Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis) before he transforms into the diabolical character that Power fans all remember.
“It’s a very different show in terms of pacing and feel,” Power creator Courtney A. Kemp told Deadline, “It does feel like Power, you definitely feel the Power of that in that show, the capital P Power, but it also has its own small p power in the story that it’s telling and in its time, and you want to make sure that the audience feels that as well.”
Power Book III: Raising Kanan will debut July 18 on Starz.