It’s hard to imagine anyone capturing the warmth and lovability of internationally-adored children’s TV icon Fred Rogers, perhaps best known as Mister Rogers. Since Rogers died in 2003, the idea of having a biopic of this kind, influential man has been floating around. Finally, a film is in the process of being made, and Mister Rogers has been cast with the nicest guy in Hollywood: Tom Hanks.
The film in question is You Are My Friend, to be directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The story will revolve around the relationship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, the latter having been assigned to interview the TV personality for a profile. TriStar will be producing the film.
It’s not a stretch to think of Hank filling in that signature red cardigan. After all, the man exudes a paternalistic charm and warmth few can rival, and he’s already played Walt Disney, one of the most celebrated entertainment personalities in the modern age. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if he can replicate Roger’s gentle affect and accent, which is a big part of the icon’s image.
“I’m thrilled to be making ‘You Are My Friend,'” Heller told NBC News. “The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit. 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. 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.”
You Are My Friend currently has no release date.