The Wrap– Searchlight Pictures and Sam Mendes are teaming on the director’s next project with Searchlight boarding Empire of Light with Mendes on set to direct and Olivia Colman in negotiations to star. This will mark Mendes first film since his Oscar-nominated 1917 and will also mark the first time both he and Colman have worked together. The film will also re-team Mendes with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who won an Oscar for his work on 1917.
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.
“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.