Olivia Colman

Empire Of Light: The Crown’s Olivia Colman is set to star in this exciting new period romance

Posted by for Film

The Crown’s Olivia Colman has been cast in Sam Mendes’ Empire Of Light, a period romance set in 1980s England. Here’s what we know so far.

Olivia Colman has certainly kept herself busy during lockdown. On top of her appearance as Queen Elizabeth II in season four of The Crown, Colman has had her name attached to a number of upcoming films and TV shows over the last 12 months.

From a starring role in the film adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter (also starring none other than Normal People’s Paul Mescal) to a “darkly comic” retelling of the 1998 Mansfield ‘garden bodies’ murders called Landscapers, the award-winning actor has a lot on her plate. And now, she’s added yet another exciting project to her list.

According to Variety, Colman is set to star in Empire Of Light, a period romance “set in and around a beautiful old cinema, on the South Coast of England in the 1980s”.  

Although most details about the project are being kept in the dark for now, we do know the film is being written and directed by Sam Mendes, who previously directed the Oscar award-winning drama 1917. He’s also set to team up with top cinematographer, Roger Deakins, who has worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049 and Skyfall.  

At the moment, it’s hoped that Empire Of Light will be released in the autumn of 2022. 

Olivia Colman as the Queen in The Crown
Olivia Colman's most recent role was as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

It’s not much to go off for now, but seeing Colman pair up with a director like Mendes is definitely noteworthy, especially considering the pair have both worked on Oscar award-winning films, with Colman previously winning an award for best actress for her role in The Favourite.

With this in mind, it seems likely that Empire Of Light could become an opportunity for Colman to win yet another Oscar – although it’ll be easier to say for certain when we learn more about the film’s plot and the role Colman’s character plays in it.  

For now, however, Colman will have her eyes firmly set on this year’s Oscars, where she’s nominated for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in The Father, which tells the story of a daughter (Colman) trying to protect her dad (Anthony Hopkins) as he struggles with dementia.  

In true Colman style, it’s a heart-wrenching, captivating and magnificent performance – and we can’t wait to see more of the same from the actor as she takes on her myriad of upcoming roles.  

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Images: Getty/Netflix

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.