NBC 5 Chicago obtained photos of several production trucks and set security near the corner of McClurg and North Water Street. That’s just one block from the overpass where Smollett said two masked men beat him, and yelled racial and homophobic slurs on Jan. 29, although police later said the incident was staged.
The TV station also got a glimpse of a city permit that said “Fox Entertainment Group – Empire” requested permission to film at the location from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 of the Fox hip-hop drama. The actor’s last appearance in April showed his character tying the knot with Kai (Toby Onwumere), in TV’s first wedding of black gay characters.
Last week at TCA, Fox entertainment chief Charlie Collier made it clear Smollett will not be returning for the show’s sixth and final season. Instead, his honeymooning character will appear in family photos and be mentioned in at least the early episodes.
The final season of Empire will premiere on Tuesday, September 24 on Fox.