Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks is set to star as beloved public television children's show host Mr. Rogers in a new biopic. Production begins September on "You Are My Friend," which is based on the real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. The reporter was assigned to do a feature on the host of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" and approached the story very cynically. But he became charmed by Rogers and his gentle approach to children, sparking a deep friendship between the two.
The film will be helmed by "Diary of a Teenage Girl" director Marielle Heller and the screenplay is written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
Fred Rogers died in 2003, but his passion for reaching children has recently struck a chord with parents and children apparently weary of today's often flashy and corporate-driven children's programming. A documentary about Rogers, entitled "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" premiered at this year's Sundance Festival and is set to hit theaters later this year. "You Are My Friend" will premiere sometime in late 2019.
In between now and when the film begins production in September, Tom Hanks will be incredibly busy. He's currently appearing in the award-winning film "The Post," Stephen Speilberg's take on the Washington Post's attempts to release the Pentagon Papers. He's also scheduled to voice Buzz Lightyear in the upcoming "Toy Story 4," as well as star in the science fiction movie "Bios." His next movie in theaters will be "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" which costars Melissa McCarthy.