Sam Mendes’ ‘Empire of Light’ With Olivia Colman and Colin Firth Lands December Release Date

The Searchlight Pictures drama will open exclusively in theaters

Olivia Colman Colin Firth Sam Mendes Empire of Light
Getty Images

Oscar-winner Sam Mendes’ next film, “Empire of Light,” starring Olivia Colman, “Top Boy” actor Micheal Ward and Colin Firth, will debut exclusively in theaters on Dec. 9, 2022.

The drama, which marks the “1917” director’s first solo writing venture, also features Tom Brooke, Hannah Onslow, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke and Tanya Moodie in supporting roles.

Set in the South Coast of England in the 1980s, “Empire of Light” is a love story that revolves around an old cinema. According to Searchlight Pictures’ official description, it is “a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema.”

Mendes produced the film with Pippa Harris for his Neal Street Productions. “Empire of Light” will see him reunite with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who won an Oscar for his work on the war epic “1917.”

Firth and Colman played husband and wife in the 2021 indie drama “Mothering Sunday,” led by Josh O’Connor and Odessa Young. Firth most recently starred in limited series “The Staircase” as Michael Peterson. Colman appeared in the hit Netflix series “Heartstopper” and has a number of projects in the works, including “Great Expectations,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “Wonka.”

Up next on Mendes’ slate is producing writer-director Niki Caro’s “Beautiful Ruins” for Amblin Partners. He won the Best Director Oscar for 1999’s “American Beauty” and was thrice-nominated for 2019’s “1917.”