Micheal Ward starring in Empire of Light

Micheal Ward starring in Empire of Light

Micheal Ward will star alongside Olivia Colman in 'Empire of Light'.

Director Sam Mendes has tapped the 'Top Boy' actor to star in his new drama for Searchlight Pictures.

Plot details on the film – which marks the first time that the '1917' filmmaker has penned a screenplay alone – have been kept under wraps, but the production is set around a beautiful, old cinema on the South Coast of England during the 1980s.

Micheal's previous credits include Steve McQueen's anthology series 'Small Axe' and movies 'Blue Story' and 'The Old Guard'.

Sam is producing the flick with Pippa Harris through his Neal Street Productions banner and will once again collaborate with cinematographer Roger Deakins on the film, which is slated for release late next year.

The 'Skyfall' director said: "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. This project is very close to my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it has found its ideal home."

The movie will be overseen at Searchlight presidents of production, film and television, Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum as well as Katie Goodson-Thomas, head of development and production at Searchlight Pictures UK.

Matthew and David said in a statement: "Sam has written an exquisite cinematic drama that captured our hearts from page one. He is a masterful filmmaker, and we look forward to working with him, Pippa, and Roger and to reunite with the great Olivia on this truly special film."