Olivia Colman will star in “Empire of Light,” the next film from director Sam Mendes that is set at Searchlight Pictures.
Mendes will direct “Empire of Light” as his follow-up to the Best Picture-nominated “1917.” Mendes also wrote the film; it marks the first time he’s penned a screenplay solo. “Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.
Mendes will also produce “Empire of Light” with Pippa Harris through his Neal Street Productions, ad Searchlight is aiming for a release in fall 2022.
Mendes will also reunite on the film with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who won his second Oscar on the continuous, unedited look of Mendes’ war film “1917.”
“I have long been an admirer of Searchlight and the dynamic way they have produced and released some of my favorite theatrical releases of recent years,” Mendes said in a statement. “This project is very close to my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it has found its ideal home.”
The project will be overseen at Searchlight by presidents of production, film and television, Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, as well as head of development and production at Searchlight Pictures UK, Katie Goodson-Thomas.
“Sam has written an exquisite cinematic drama that captured our hearts from page one. He is a masterful filmmaker, and we look forward to working with him, Pippa, and Roger and to reunite with the great Olivia on this truly special film,” Greenbaum and Greenfield said in a statement.
Colman was just nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “The Father” alongside Anthony Hopkins. This follows her already Oscar-winning turn for “The Favourite.” She also played Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown” and starred on the Amazon series “Fleabag.” She’s next set to star in “The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut opposite Dakota Johnson.
Mendes is an Oscar winner for his film “American Beauty,” and he was nominated for three Oscars for his most recent film, the war epic “1917.” Next, he will produce the upcoming film adaptation of Jess Walter’s New York Times bestseller “Beautiful Ruins” for Amblin Partners.
Sam Mendes is represented by Maha Dakhil and Beth Swofford/CAA; Katie Haines/The Agency, Donna Mills/Premier PR UK and Simon Halls/Slate PR. Olivia Colman is represented by Hildy Gottlieb/ICM Partners; Olivia Homan and Lindy King/United Agents UK and Bryna Rifkin/Narrative.