Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes’ next feature will arrive this December. 

Empire of Light, from Searchlight Pictures, is described as “a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema.” 

Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, the dramatic romance features award-winning talent on both sides of the camera. Empire of Light stars Oscar winners Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), as well as BAFTA winner Michael Ward (Blue Story). Academy Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins also reteams with Mendes for the project. The pair previously collaborated on both 1917 and Skyfall.

Mendes won an Oscar for directing 1999’s American Beauty, and received additional nominations for 1917. Empire of Light will be Mendes’ first feature since 1917. However, he did executive produce Penny Dreadful: City of Angels between the two projects. Mendes wrote and directed Empire of Light, which will release exclusively in theaters December 9.

Additional films on the Searchlight slate set to premiere this year include Not Okay (July 29), See How They Run (Sept. 16), The Banshees of Inisherin (Oct. 21), and The Menu (Nov. 18).

Meanwhile, check back to THS for more updates.

Keep Reading: