Production Begins on Searchlight Pictures’ “Empire of Light”

Writer/Producer Sam Mendes has begun principal photography on the upcoming Searchlight Pictures feature Empire of Light, according to Deadline.

  • Empire of Light is written by Mendes and is his first solo screenplay.
  • The film stars:
    • Olivia Colman
    • Micheal Ward
    • Colin Firth
    • Toby Jones
    • Crystal Clarke
    • Tanya Moodie
  • In addition to the start of production, Deadline also reports that Tom Brooke and Hannah Onslow have joined the cast of the film.
  • Empire of Light is being billed as a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema in the 1980s.
  • The film will shoot in Margate and along the Kent coastline through May.
  • Empire of Light will be produced by Pippa Harris and Mendes under their Neal Street Productions banner and will be released theatrically by Searchlight.
  • The new film is being overseen by Searchlight Pictures’ Head of Film Production and Development, Katie Goodson-Thomas; Director of Development and Production, Pete Spencer; and Creative Executive, Cornelia Burleigh.

What they’re saying:

  • Sam Mendes: “I’m really thrilled to be working with so many wonderful collaborators across both cast and crew on such a personal project. It’s a particular thrill to be working for the first time with Olivia Colman, and to be working once again with my long-term collaborator Roger Deakins.”
  • Producer Pippa Harris: “We are delighted to be working with Searchlight on Empire Of Light, and couldn’t hope for better partners. They have been incredibly collaborative and supportive as we embark on this new venture together.”
  • Searchlight Presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum: “This is a dream partnership for us, between the singular Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, and the outstanding cast led by Olivia, Micheal, and Colin. We’re very excited for the road ahead.”