America’s sweetheart is set to play America’s sweetheart.
Tom Hanks will star as Mr. Rogers in the biopic You Are My Friend, and a photo of the actor in a red cardigan and blue sneakers for the forthcoming feature appeared on the web for the first time today. The director Marielle Heller is behind the film, with a script by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
“I’m thrilled to be making You Are My Friend,” Heller told the publication. “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 is based on the real-life companionship of Fred Rogers and the journalist Tom Junod. The story chronicles how Junod reluctantly took on an assignment to profile the TV icon, which subsequently changed his life.
“Now more than ever, we all need a reintroduction to Fred Rogers’s 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,” said the producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf.
Hanks has often played real-life personalities. Recently, he took on the role of the Washington Post editor in chief Ben Bradlee in The Post, which was nominated for best picture at the 2018 Academy Awards. Along with You Are My Friend, Hanks is set to film the World War II feature Greyhound, which he wrote and will star in.