Los Angeles, Jun 22 (PTI) "Downton Abbey" actor Penelope Wilton is set to star in the big-screen adaptation of author Rachel Joyce's best-selling novel "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry".

She joins Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, who will play the titular role of Harold, an ordinary man who has passed through life, living on the side lines, until he goes to post a letter one day... and just keeps walking.

The character embarks on a 450-mile walk across the UK in the simple belief that his journey will save the life of his old friend Queenie who is dying in a hospice. Step by step, a spark is ignited in Harold's hibernating soul as he rediscovers the majesty of the world, reflects on his mistakes, and finally gains the strength to face the unspoken grief that has driven him and his wife Maureen apart.

According to Deadline, Wilton will play Maureen, who is bewildered when Harold doesn't come home one day.

BAFTA winner Hettie Macdonald, who helmed the acclaimed hit series "Normal People" with Lenny Abrahamson, will direct the film.

BAFTA winner Kevin Loader of "The Death of Stalin" will produce with Juliet Dowling and Marilyn Milgrom.

Shooting on the project is expected to start in the UK in September.

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