Tom Hanks will soon be asking audiences everywhere to be his neighbor.
The iconic actor will take on the role of the also iconic TV host Fred Rogers in You Are My Friend. The film will tell the true story of the friendship between the star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. The story is about “a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepting an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon who finds his perspective on life transformed.”
The script, by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, has finally found a home after being on the Black List (a list of the best unproduced scripts each year) in 2013. Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller is attached to helm the project. The director released a statement on the project that should sell you on it right away.
“I’m 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. 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.”
TriStar Pictures will be producing the film. TriStar president Hannah Minghella had this to say:
“This is the perfect alchemy of talent coming together at the perfect time to remind us all of the transformative power of kindness and respect to heal and to unite. We are proud to partner with Marielle, Tom and everyone at Big Beach to bring this inspirational true story to audiences all over the world.”
And in case you wanted more people attached to the project telling you it will be good, producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf want to assure you.
“Now more than ever, we all need a re-introduction to Fred Rogers’ message of uncompromising love and kindness between all living things. Mari Heller is the perfect visionary filmmaker to bring Noah and Micah’s script to life and because of her vision and this remarkable script, we have the quintessential actor to play Fred Rogers.”
Oscar-winner Tom Hanks will no doubt give a memorable performance as Mister Rogers. In case you want to read the heartwarming profile piece Tom Junod actually wrote, you can do so right here.