Sam Mendes’ latest movie recruits a star-studded ensemble

Sam Mendes
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 27: Director Sam Mendes attends the 92nd Oscars Nominees Luncheon on January 27, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Sam Mendes has only directed eight feature films in the space of 22 years, making him much less prolific than many of his peers, but his track record is still enough to make him one of the most esteemed and acclaimed filmmakers of his generation.

He’s got an Academy Award win for Best Director under his belt for American Beauty, which also won Best Picture, while his filmography has racked up a combined total of twelve Oscar victories from 31 nominations. That’s without even mentioning the fact he’s also helmed the two highest-grossing James Bond blockbusters ever made, with Skyfall the only one to crack a billion dollars at the box office.


We haven’t seen anything from Mendes since 1917, but that’s about to change. As per Deadline, his next effort Empire of Light has recruited Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke, Tanya Moodie, Olivia Colman, and Michael Ward to lead the ensemble, so this thing already has prestige drama written all over it.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Empire of Light is said to be a love letter to cinema that unfolds on the South Coast of England during the 1980s, with Mendes flying solo on the screenplay for the first time and the legendary Roger Deakins set as cinematographer. There’s no release date other than a vague fall of 2022, which is coincidentally right when awards season contenders tend to arrive.