The production working on Raynor Winn’s bestselling memoir The Salt Path for theatrical production initially announced it was pivoting to a big screen production just ahead of the Cannes Film Festival in May 2023. Marianne Elliott, the Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning director behind The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and the Angel in America revival, was contracted to direct the stage version, confirmed she would make her screen-directing debut on the project. Gillian Anderson (The Crown) and Jason Isaacs (Archie) have been attached to star in the stage version, and it is now confirmed that casting will go forward as the film announced further cast.
Winn’s memoir begins with the diagnosis that her husband of 32 years, Moth, is terminally ill with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) an incurable neurological disease. However, the collapse of their business is a more immediate problem, including an eviction that leaves them homeless. With no money for shelter and little left for food, the two decide to do something that sounds a little insane: They pack up and head out to hike South West Coast Path, colloquially known as the Salt Path, from one end to the other, 630 miles, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Afraid her husband would soon lose the memory of the trip, Winn kept a journal.
Winn’s daughter encouraged her to publish the story, which quickly became a best-seller and was shortlisted for the 2018 Costa biography award. Elliott told Deadline that the switch from theater to screen was partly due to the pandemic, giving her a chance to switch mediums. Three years later, with a screenplay by playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Small Axe), and a sale on the Cannes market, the film is heading into production.
Here is the film’s synopsis:
The Salt Path follows married couple Raynor and Moth Winn, portrayed by Anderson and Isaacs, who, after being evicted from their farm, embark on a long and winding trek along the South West Coast path in UK’s picturesque Devon and Cornwall.
Anderson will play Raynor Winn, while Isaacs will play the ailing Moth. They will be joined by James Lance (Ted Lasso) and Hermione Norris (Luther) as two of the many people Moth and Raynor meet on their journey and are pivotal in helping them along. As the original script was mainly a two-hander with small speaking parts for co-stars, Lance and Norris will be part of an ensemble of faces making cameo appearances as the two travel their route. Elizabeth Karlsen, who is executive producing the film through her company Number 9 Films, said, “We’re thrilled James Lance and Hermione Norris have taken on these small but significant parts.”
Filming for The Salt Path is already underway in the U.K. on location. Other cameo roles for the film are expected to be announced as the production continues. The Salt Path does not have an official release date but is expected out in 2024.