Beloved Actor Tom Hanks to Play Beloved Children’s Entertainer Mr. Rogers in New Biopic

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brian-mcgee - January 30, 2018

Tom Hanks' quest for Best Actor trophy number three will continue in 2019 when he steps into the comfortable slippers and sensible cardigan of one of the greatest human beings to ever walk this planet... Mr. Rogers. That's right folks, one of our greatest living actors is going to be playing Fred Rogers, the man we all welcomed into our home as as kids. And not in a creepy way. 

If you have or ever have had a Facebook account, you've no doubt seen countless videos and articles about how Fred Rogers was an absolute saint, an advocate for children's educational programming, and just the most patient, warm, and understanding human that many of us had in our lives as kids. For many people, he was the dad or grandpa or uncle or next door neighbor we all wish we had. He's about as universal to all of our childhoods as Sesame Street and macaroni & cheese.

Hanks is no stranger to this sort of reverence either, as we all more or less decided around the time Jimmy Stewart left this earth that Tom Hanks could fill that void. Evidence of his awesomeness is also abundant on social media, like the time he had some fun with a drunk dude, and that other time when he sang the "Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop" song from Big with an interviewer, and then did it better than the guy who asked to do it with him, whom you just know had practiced that for weeks prior to the interview. 

Much like when he played Walt Disney a few years back, you look at Tom Hanks and think, that's the only guy for the part. As for the film itself, titled You Are My Friend, it's one of those durn blacklist scripts based on a book. According to Coming Soon...

You Are My Friend is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. 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.

Cynical journalist you say? Have Billy Crudup's people been contacted? He's got that act down.

Director Marielle 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.”

So yeah, this could be great or it could be another Saving Mr. Banks hagiography. Fingers crossed for the former. The film is set to go into production this fall with an eye toward Oscar season 2019. 

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