It's going to star Tom Hanks, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Small-screen hero Fred Rogers led an extraordinary life, and soon that life will be celebrated on the big screen. From his beloved television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to his advocacy on behalf of public television, the late pioneer of children’s programming remains an important figure in the social consciousness as well as a friend to all those who grew up with the show—which is why this news is so exciting.
There’s a feature film about Rogers, who passed away in 2003 at age 74, in the works from Sony TriStar. It’s called You Are My Friend, and it is loosely based on Tom Junod’s now-famous 1998 Esquire profile of Rogers. According to TriStar, the plot will follow a journalist as he “begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed."
As for the team bringing this film to the big screen, it’s already looking like an all-star lineup. Tom Hanks (Castaway, Apollo 13) is set to star as Fred Rogers, and Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) will direct from a screenplay penned by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Production will begin in September, and then the countdown is on to the premiere.
Fred Rogers’ legacy lives on in many ways. 2018 marks the 50-year anniversary of the first episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood airing on television. To commemorate this anniversary, U.S. Postal Service will release a Forever Stamp depicting Fred Rogers and King Friday VIII, a puppet from the show’s Neighborhood of Make-Believe, in March. Also, a documentary about Rogers entitled Won’t You Be My Neighbor had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
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Keep an eye out for news of the film’s release date, which is yet to be announced, and pencil it in your calendar—fans of Mister Rogers won’t want to miss this. It’s sure to be a beautiful day in the neighborhood.