It’s a Beautiful Day to Look at the First Picture of Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in His Upcoming Movie
The late Fred Rogers’ hot streak continues: A hit documentary about his life (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) will now be followed by a fictional movie where no less than Tom Hanks will play the creator and star of the classic children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
The film, originally titled You Are My Friend and now apparently untitled and on the hunt for a replacement, is based on true events in the relationship between Rogers and a journalist (played in the film by The Americans’ Matthew Rhys). Here’s the first photo of Hanks in costume as Rogers, red cardigan, blue sneakers, and all:
Hanks isn’t a perfect physical match for the real guy, but with the costume and hair it’s pretty easy to convince your mind you’re looking at Fred Rogers. Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in Untitled Mr. Rogers/Tom Hanks Project, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was a very good documentary but it left a lot of room for this movie to explore; Rogers’ private life away from the set of his show was mostly avoided in favor of stories about the evolution of his philosophy and style, and anecdotes from the men and women who knew him and worked with him. I’d like to see this fiction film go in a more personal direction.
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