We hope you're wearing waterproof mascara because Fred Rogers, America's most beloved children's television host, is finally getting his own biopic. For over 30 years Mr. Rogers brought a message of love and kindness to children across the country on his show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. And who is set to play this gentle soul? None other than Tom Hanks — acting legend and all-around good person. Anyone else feeling all warm and fuzzy?
Variety reports that Marielle Heller, best known for her film Diary of a Teenage Girl, will direct the upcoming film, which is slated to begin production this September.
"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."
TriStar Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to the film, titled You Are My Friend. The script was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, who have both previously worked on Amazon's Transparent.
The biopic will follow the unlikely friendship between Mr. Rogers and cynical journalist Tom Junod, who, in 1998, "begrudgingly accepted an assignment to write a profile piece but [found] his perspective on life transformed during the process."
Though Fred Rogers has been gone 15 years, his legacy and teachings still live on. Just this month, a documentary on the TV personality, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, debuted at Sundance.
Let's be honest, we could all use a little more Mr. Rogers in our lives.