See the First Photo of Tom Hanks Playing Mister Rogers in an Upcoming Biopic

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Town & Country

The casting couldn't be more perfect: quintessential Hollywood good guy Tom Hanks will play beloved children's television star Fred Rogers in a new biopic about the television pioneer.

Loosely based on journalist Tom Junod's 1998 Esquire profile of Rogers, You Are My Friend will reportedly center around how "a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed," according to Variety, which broke the news this afternoon.

Junod, now a senior writer at ESPN, is a fan of Hanks playing Rogers.

"The really cool thing about Tom Hanks playing Fred is that Fred and Tom Hanks are similar in a really essential way in that they are gentle people, they are soft spoken people, but they are powerful people," he told Esquire. "I think that Tom Hanks can really bring that aspect of Fred out."

The script for the film was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Marielle Heller, who is perhaps best known for Diary of a Teenage Girl, will direct.

"As a mother, I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and as a human I am in awe of his life’s work," Heller said. "I can’t wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture."

Other casting details have yet to be shared publicly, but today, Sony revealed the movie will premiere in October of 2019.

You Are My Friend will serve as a follow-up to the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor, which premiered earlier this year, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Watch a clip from that film below:

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