In today's edition of "News That Makes Perfect Sense," it was announced that Tom Hanks will be playing children's show host Fred Rogers in an upcoming biopic. Hanks is no stranger to playing beloved real-life figures, having portrayed Walt Disney in 2013's Saving Mr. Banks, but donning Mr. Rogers' iconic cardigan and taking a trip to the Neighborhood will be something new and, hopefully, magical for audiences everywhere.
The movie will be called You Are My Friend, and is be loosely based on the relationship between Rogers and Tom Junod, a journalist assigned to profile him for Esquire in 1998. The film is being produced by TriStar, who issued a statement summarizing the plot:
In the heart-warming story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.
Junod himself is excited about the upcoming movie, saying it's "well timed, for this moment."
It is finally happening, and in the best of ways: a movie, very loosely based on the article I wrote for @Esquire 20 years ago, with Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, two innovative screenwriters from "Transparency" scripting, and Marielle Heller directing. Well-timed, for this moment. https://t.co/JWsOCmL6XB— Tom Junod (@TomJunod) January 29, 2018
Marielle Heller, director of Diary of a Teenage Girl, is attached to direct. She commented in a statement:
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.
Twitter is thrilled by the casting choice:
"Hi, I'm the casting director who booked Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. My name is Common Sense."— Ronny Pascale (@ronnypascale) January 29, 2018
Every once in a while, the Universe is in PERFECT alignment to briefly brush away some of the nasty sludge of reality.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 29, 2018
Tom Hanks playing Mr. Rogers is one of those moments.
THANK YOU, Universe!
*wipes away tears of gratitude* pic.twitter.com/d4QGTsenbT
I dont know that there is a more perfect actor than Tom Hanks to play Mr Rogers in the movie about his life...— Bobby Bones (@mrBobbyBones) January 30, 2018
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired from 1968 to 2001. It's unknown when You Are My Friend will be premiering, but rest assured knowing that Hanks fans will someday storm opening night to see one of America's most lovable actors portraying one of our most lovable historic figures.