Olivia Colman will star in ‘1917’ director’s new romantic drama

The Crown star Olivia Colman will lead the cast of Empire of Light.

The upcoming movie will be the first project for English filmmaker Sam Mendes since he directed the award-winning World War I drama 1917.

Set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England in the 1980s, the film is described as a love story.

Mendes will direct Empire of Light later this year, and he’s also written the script.

It’s his first solo script as a screenwriter, having previously co-written 1917.

His other directorial credits include American Beauty, Skyfall, and Revolutionary Road.

Sam Mendes will team up with Searchlight Pictures to produce the movie.

He commented: “I have long been an admirer of Searchlight and the dynamic way they have produced and released some of my favourite theatrical releases of recent years.”

He added: “This project is very close to my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it has found its ideal home.”

Given the 1980s period and southern England setting, presumably the story is based on Mendes’ own life to some extent, with the 55-year-old director having grown up in the Berkshire town of Reading.

Empire of Light will mark the first time Sam Mendes and Olivia Colman have worked together.

An adorable video featuring Olivia Colman and The Crown co-star Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) interviewing each other was recently released.

Colman will be replaced as the Queen in the next season of The Crown by Downton Abbey movie star Imelda Staunton.

Netflix has announced that the sixth season will be the show’s last.

Empire of Light is set to arrive in cinemas in 2022.

The Crown is available on DVD on Amazon.