Fred Rogers, more famously known as Mr. Rogers, has a new biopic underway titled You Are My Friend, and rightfully so. The man has a lifetime that reads like he should have been cast as Dos Equis most interesting man alive, if the most interesting man alive only wanted to see other people smile. He asked congress nicely and got 22 million dollars in funding for PBS, he only wore sweaters hand knitted from his mother (with love stitched in every thread, I’m assuming), and was an idol of the world’s only gorilla with an education from Stanford University, Koko. I’m not quite sure how many of these facts will make it in to the movie, but I sure hope it’s all of them. With a resume as wonderful as his, who else could play him other than another one of America’s sweethearts, Tom Hanks. Hanks is one of the most respected actors of all time with over 80 film awards and 146 various nominations to his name. After it was announced that Hanks would play the lead role, I couldn’t think of anyone else in Hollywood that would be a better fit.
The story is set to center around Rogers’ real-life friendship with award-winning journalist Tom Junod. Junod begrudgingly accepted an assignment to profile Mr. Rogers for the November 1998 issue of Esquire magazine’s “Heroes” edition. He wrote a beautiful article that followed Fred Rogers daily life, along with stories of children’s lives that were forever changed by Mr. Rogers and his television show. The time that these two spent together would ultimately become a friendship that would coax Junod out of cynicism and change his life forever.
TriStar Pictures will be the studio backing this project. Marielle Heller is set to direct (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, MacGruber), with Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (Transparent, Legend of Master Legend) handling the scriptwriting duties. You Are My Friend doesn’t currently have a scheduled release date, but with production going underway in September 2018, we should be expecting it to hit the silver screen in late 2019.