Sam Mendes Begins Production On Searchlight Pictures’ ‘Empire Of Light’ – Film News |

Searchlight Pictures today announced the start of principal photography on the feature film EMPIRE OF LIGHT by Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall, American Beauty), starring Oscar winner Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke and Tanya. Moody. Tom Brooke and Hannah Onslow join the previously announced cast. Produced by Oscar nominee Pippa Harris (1917, Call The Midwife, Penny Dreadful) and Mendes under their Neal Street Productions, the film will be released theatrically by Searchlight Pictures.

EMPIRE OF LIGHT is set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England in the 1980s. The film will be shot in Margate, England, and along the Kent coast until May.

“I’m so thrilled to be working with so many wonderful collaborators from both cast and crew on such a personal project,” said Sam Mendes. “It is a particular pleasure to work for the first time with Olivia Colman and to work again with my longtime collaborator Roger Deakins.”

Producer Pippa Harris adds: “We are delighted to be working with Searchlight on EMPIRE OF LIGHT and we couldn’t have asked for better partners. They have been incredibly collaborative and supportive as we embark on this new adventure together.

“This is a dream partnership for us, between the singular Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and the exceptional cast led by Olivia, Micheal and Colin,” commented Searchlight presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. “We are very excited for the road ahead.”

Tom Brooke recently starred in ‘The Crown’ for Netflix, ‘The Bodyguard’ for BBC/Netflix, ‘Preacher’ for AMC Networks, How to Talk to Girls at Parties for A24 and The Death of Stalin for IFC Films. Hannah Onslow currently stars in BBC/AMC Networks’ ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ and was previously on BBC/PBS Masterpiece’s ‘Ridley Road’. Brooke is represented by B-Side Management and Management 360, and Onslow by Gordon and French.

The film crew includes longtime collaborators of Mendes, including Oscar-nominated producer Pippa Harris, cinematographer Roger Deakins (1917, Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption), who reunites for his fifth collaboration, Hair and Make-up artist Naomi Donne (The Batman, 1917, Skyfall), Academy Award-winning editor Lee Smith (1917, Dunkirk, Inception, The Dark Knight), Academy Award-winning sound mixer Stuart Wilson (1917, Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens, Skyfall) casting director Nina Gold (The Power of the Dog, 1917), executive producer Michael Lerman (1917, Spectre, Skyfall), executive producer Julie Pastor (1917, Informer ) and co-producer Lola Oliyide (1917, Britannia).

Joining the team are production designer Mark Tildesley (No Time to Die, Phantom Thread, Heart of the Sea, 28 Days Later), Oscar-winning Costume Designer Alexandra Byrne (Emma, Dr Strange, Guardians of The Galaxy, Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth The Golden Age) and co-producer Celia Duval (Belfast, A Boy Called Christmas). EMPIRE OF LIGHT is overseen by Searchlight Pictures’ Head of Film Production and Development, Katie Goodson-Thomas, Director of Development and Production, Pete Spencer, and Creative Director, Cornelia Burleigh.


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