Acclaimed actor Tom Hanks has been confirmed to portray the late Fred Rogers in an upcoming biopic about the iconic television personality.
The film, titled “You Are My Friend,” will be directed by “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller and will be based on the screenplay written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
The upcoming movie will revolve around the real-life friendship between television personality Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the story, the cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a piece about Rogers. While on assignment, Junod finds that his perspective on life has been transformed by the newfound friendship with Rogers.
Heller said she is thrilled to be making “You Are My Friend.” “The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit,” said Heller. “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.”
Rogers was the star of the long-running children’s television series “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” which ran for 33 years. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 74.
The feature was acquired by TriStar Pictures and is set to begin its production in September.
“Now more than ever, we all need a re-introduction to Fred Rogers’ message of uncompromising love and kindness between all living things,” said Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf of Big Beach Films, which will be producing the film.
Hanks is known to portray real-life personalities in films like “The Post,” which was recently nominated for Best Picture in the upcoming Oscars, as well as “Sully,” and “Captain Philips.”