America’s Dad Tom Hanks to Play America’s BFF Mr. Rogers in ‘You Are My Friend’ Biopic
This is such emotional news that it can only be delivered in fragments: Tom Hanks — you know Tom Hanks, right? Okay good. Tom Hanks is going to play Fred Rogers, aka TV’s Mr. Rogers, aka your childhood best friend, in a movie. By now, you are probably feeling a teensy twinge in your tear ducts. But wait, there’s more. The biopic is called You Are My Friend. And while you reach for some tissues because something is clearly in your eye at this point, I can tell you the last part:
According to Variety, Marielle Heller will direct the biopic / heartwarming sob-fest starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. Heller, for those unfamiliar, previously directed the exquisitely poignant and heartbreaking coming-of-age film The Diary of a Teenage Girl — a movie that, as the kids say, gave us all the feels. (I don’t think they still say that.)
TriStar has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to You Are My Friend, which centers on the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod — yes, Mr. Rogers had other friends besides you. When Junod begrudgingly accepted an assignment to profile the iconic children’s television host, his cynical, grinch-y heart grew three sizes (basically), as Mr. Rogers proved that his compassionate way of living wasn’t just for kiddos.
Production has yet to begin on You Are My Friend, which probably won’t hit theaters until late next year (awards season, of course) and gives us all plenty of time to stockpile boxes of Kleenex. It’s like emotional doomsday prepping.