Two big names frequently associated with the Oscars in recent years are teaming up for a love story. Olivia Colman, who won Best Actress for The Favourite a few years ago and recently secured a Best Supporting Actress nomination for The Father, has signed on to star in Empire Of Light, which will be directed by Sam Mendes, whose last film, 1917, earned ten Oscar nominations.
The project is set up at Searchlight Pictures, and Mendes has also written the script. Although plot details are being kept close to the vest, we do know that the film will revolve around a beautiful old movie theater on the South Coast of England in the 1980s. The film will also reunite Mendes with all-time great cinematographer Roger Deakins, who finally won his first Oscar for his 1917 work.
“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”.
Searchlight executives Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum added: “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”.
Empire Of Light will likely be another Oscar contender in Mendes’ impressive career – which includes a Best Director win for American Beauty as well as films such as Road To Perdition, Jarhead, and two Bond movies – but what might be most appealing about it is that it sounds like an ode to movie theaters, which is probably something many film fans can empathise with right now.
Colman’s impressive run since her Best Actress win looks likely to continue, as alongside Empire Of Light she also stars in indie drama Mothering Sunday alongside Colin Firth, and also recently wrapped shooting on Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s directorial debut The Lost Daughter, which also stars Dakota Johnson.