Tom Hanks to Star as Mr. Rogers in New Film from Marielle Heller


A decade and a half after his death, Mr. Rogers is suddenly a hot commodity.

Fred Rogers, the dulcet-toned host of PBS’s Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, is the subject of the new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival and will hit theaters later this year. In the meantime, Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller will direct a narrative biopic titled You Are My Friend, with Tom Hanks starring at the public television personality.

According to THR, the film will focus on a long-lasting friendship between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, whose life was changed when he took an assignment to write a profile piece on Mr. Rogers. The script, by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, appeared on the 2013 Black List of the “most liked” unproduced screenplays.

It’s going to be a busy year for Heller, whose Diary was one of the best movies of 2015; You Are My Friend will go into production in September, THR reports, just a month before the release of her much-anticipated second feature, Can You Ever Forgive Me? Hanks is currently working on something called Toy Story 4.