It’s being reported that Tom Hanks is attached to play Fred Rogers in a biopic about the iconic host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood titled You Are My Friend.
The movie is set to be directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) from a screenplay penned by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (Transparent/em>).
Of the news about You Are My Friend, Heller said:
“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 has secured worldwide distribution rights on the feature. TriStar president Hannah Minghella also released a statement, saying:
“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.”
Finally producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf said:
“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”
You Are My Friend will tell the story of the real-life relationship between Rogers and Tom Junod, a cynical journalist who was forced to write a profile on the TV show host but ended up having his perspective on life changed completely. The news comes in 2018, the 50th anniversary of when Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood first premiered in 1968.
No word yet on a timetable for the film’s release.