Empire season 3
Cookie and Lucious in Fox's series Empire Fox

Fox has released the first poster for Empire season 3 featuring Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and Taraji P Henson as Cookie. Season 3 of the hip-hop drama will premiere on 21 September at 9pm EST on Fox Network.

The poster features both the Lyon exes together and teases, "Their region. Their rules." Season 2 of Empire ended on a sour note for the couple when Cookie walked out of Lucious's life after he decided to marry Anika to stop her from testifying against him.

The third season of Empire will also introduce fans to younger versions of Lucious and Cookie. According to a report in TV Line, Fox is adding two African-America actors to portray Lucious and Loretha aka Cookie in their teens, so as to explore the leads' origin story. An 18-year-old Cookie is described as a "beautiful but innocent Catholic schoolgirl," while young Lucious already "possesses an incredible voice and his own sense of style."

The premiere episode of season 3 is titled Light In Darkness, with showrunner Ilene Chaiken teasing that the upcoming season will set up a battle between light and dark. She said, "What we're setting up is a battle of dark vs. light. Who are the Lyons and how will they continue to define themselves going forward? Can they ever change? Is Lucious the dark lord, pulling them all in the other direction? And really, where does Tariq fit in with all of this? I would venture that if Tariq really is Lucious' half-brother, there probably isn't a good one and a bad one."

According to Chaiken, Cookie's decision to walk away from Lucious will "reverberate" throughout season 3. "The family is together, the company is together, and Lucious and Cookie will be in one another's faces and lives, but her [being finished with Lucious] is going to color everything," she added.