Searchlight Pictures is teaming up with Sam Mendes for his next project “Empire of Light,” which is aiming for a fall 2022 release. The “1917” director has found his leading lady in Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

The project is described as a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s. Mendes is producing the film with Pippa Harris via Neal Street Productions. After co-writing “1917” with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, “Empire of Light” marks Mendes’ first solo outing as a screenwriter.

The filmmaker has also brought legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins into the fold, who won an Oscar for best cinematography last year at the Academy Awards for his work on “1917” (Mendes was also nominated). The war epic, which was nominated for best picture, generated a lot of buzz for seamlessly connecting a series of extended takes to look as if it the whole film was one continuous shot. Mendes and Deakins also worked together on “Skyfall” and “Revolutionary Road.”

“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,” Mendes said in a statement. “This project is very close to my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it has found its ideal home.”

“Empire of Light” will be overseen by Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, Presidents of Production, Film and Television, and Head of  Development & Production, Searchlight Pictures UK Katie Goodson-Thomas.

Mendes is repped by CAA and The Agenc. Colman is repped by ICM Partners and United Agents.