Hollywood’s most decent man is set to portray television’s friendliest neighbor.
In one of the most obvious castings in film history, Tom Hanks has signed on to star as Mr. Rogers in a forthcoming biopic about the iconic children’s television personality.
Titled You Are My Friend, the film is being directed Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl) from a script written by by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the film is inspired by the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and a journalist named Tom Junod. Assigned to write a profile about Rogers, a cynical Junod finds his life transformed by the experience.
In a statement, Heller said, 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.”
Of course, Hanks has experience playing beloved American icons: he previously portrayed Walt Disney in the 2013 period drama Saving Mr. Banks.