EXCLUSIVE: Colin Firth (Operation Mincemeat, Mothering Sunday), Toby Jones (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, First Cow) Crystal Clarke (Sanditon, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain) and Tanya Moodie (Motherland, A Discovery of Witches) have signed on to star alongside Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward in Empire of Light, the drama from Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, which marks his follow-up to 2020 Best Picture nominee 1917.
While the Searchlight Pictures title’s plot is being kept under wraps, it’s billed as a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s. Mendes penned the script in his first solo outing and will produce alongside Pippa Harris for Neal Street Productions. The film lensed by Mendes’ longtime collaborator Roger Deakins is scheduled for release next fall.
Firth is an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Critics Choice Award winner who recently starred opposite Colman in Eva Husson’s Sony Pictures Classics drama, Mothering Sunday—toplining Harry Macqueen’s romantic drama Supernova with Stanley Tucci. The actor will next be seen John Madden’s WWII drama Operation Mincemeat and the HBO Max series The Staircase. He earned his Oscar in 2011 for his turn in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, having scored his first nom the year prior for his starring role in Tom Ford’s A Single Man.
Jones is an Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominee who will next appear in Jon S. Baird’s historical drama Tetris, Sebastian Lelio’s The Wonder and the fifth as yet untitled Indiana Jones film. The actor has recently been seen in Will Sharpe’s Amazon drama The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Gil Kenan’s holiday film A Boy Called Christmas and Kelly Reichardt’s acclaimed A24 drama, First Cow. His recent television credits include the BBC TV movie Danny Boy, the BAFTA-winning comedy series Detectorists and Don’t Forget the Driver. He’s also appeared on the film side in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Berberian Sound Studio, Infamous, The Mist and as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl.
Clarke recently wrapped filming on the second and third series of Masterpiece’s Sanditon and will next be seen in Sean McNamara’s fantasy pic The King’s Daughter. The actress recently starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in Amazon Studios’ The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. She has also appeared on the film side in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed, appearing on the TV side in Netflix’s Black Mirror, the BBC miniseries Roadkill and more.
Moodie currently stars in in Sky Original A Discovery of Witches, opposite Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode, and in AMC+’s Motherland. The actress has previously appeared in films including Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, as well as such series as Tin Star and Absentia.
Firth is represented by CAA and Independent Talent Group (UK); Jones by Artists Rights Group (UK); Clarke by Curtis Brown Group (UK), and Moodie by The Artists Partnership (UK).
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.