Disney’s Searchlight Pictures is developing a new film, “Empire Of Light”, which is being written and directed by Sam Mendes.  Production is now underway in Margate, England and along the Kent coastline.  Filming is due to continue until May.

“Empire Of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema in the 1980s, though no plot details have been revealed yet.

This new film stars Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke and Tanya Moodie.


Deadline is reporting that Tom Brooke (The Crown, The Bodyguard) and Hannah Onslow (Ridley Road, Call The Midwife) have joined the cast.

Sam Mendes said in a statement:

“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.”

With Pippa Harris adding:

“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 added:

“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.”

Empire Of Light 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.   Pippa Harris and Mendes will produce it under their Neal Street Productions banner.  Also joining the project is production designer Mark Tildesley (No Time To Die), costume designer Alexandra Byrne (Dr Strange, Guardians Of The Galaxy), and co-producer Celia Duval (Belfast).

More production details were also revealed, including cinematographer Roger Deakins, hair and makeup designer Naomi Donne, editor Lee Smith, sound mixer Stuart Wilson, casting director Nina Gold, executive producer Michael Lerman, executive producer Julie Pastor, and co-producer Lola Oliyide.


It will be released theatrically by Searchlight, and we should expect it to be released on Disney’s streaming services once it’s finished its theatrical run.





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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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