The country is riding a wave of nostalgia for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, as evidenced by the popular documentary capturing Fred Rogers' sincerity and success in children's television programming. Now Sony Pictures has started production on a biopic about Mister Rogers, with the iconic Tom Hanks starring as the legendary children's star in the new film You Are My Friend.
Sony just released the first image of Hanks as Fred Rogers, including the trademark sweater and comfy shoes. Take a look:
Tom Hanks is Mister Rogers, coming to a neighborhood near you October 2019. pic.twitter.com/2TP3eiPUCx— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) September 27, 2018
The movie will focus on the period toward the end of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood run on PBS, when journalist Tim Junod reluctantly takes an assignment to profile Rogers. The story actually was published in 1998 in Esquire under the title "Can You Say... Hero?" Junod has previously spoken about how the profile developed into a friendship with Rogers, and how it helped changed his perspective on life.
You Are My Friend comes in the wake of the popular and critically acclaimed documentary about Fred Rogers, the Sundance selected film called Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Mister Rogers' legacy has been celebrated recently, including in last week's Google Doodle which recognized the beginning of production on the very first episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Google helped create a stop-motion video honoring the show.
Public Broadcasting Service continues to uphold the legacy of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with the long-running animated series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. The series is set in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, which Mister Rogers would visit regularly on his series and interact with hand puppet characters.
Sony's new movie You Are My Friend is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on October 18, 2019. We'll likely see more details about the upcoming film as we get closer to the release date.