Tom Hanks has signed on to star as children’s television icon Fred Rogers in a new biopic titled You Are My Friend. Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Marielle Heller will be in the directors chair, and it was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. It will be released by TriStar Pictures.
The movie centers on the friendship between Rogers and writer Tom Junod. When assigned to write a piece on the beloved Rogers, his whole worldview is turned upside-down and their friendship blossoms. The story that became the script floated around and was on the Hollywood Black List since 2013. Heller had this to say about the project:
“I’m thrilled to be making ‘You Are My Friend,’” Heller said. “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.”
Big Beach’s Marc Turtletaub, one of the producers on the film, had this to say about Hanks playing Mr. Rogers:
“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,”
It is hard to imagine anyone else that could possibly play Fred Rogers than Tom Hanks. This is just one of those instances where a project and an actor come together in such a perfect way that one cannot help but be excited at its possibilities.