Tom Hanks to play Mr. Rogers in biopic ‘You Are My Friend’

Tom Hanks is attached to play Mr. Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame for the biopic, You Are My Friend.

According to Variety, Tri-Star Pictures obtained the distribution rights for the film with Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller set to direct. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster have penned the script.

The film is inspired by the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the film, the cynical journalist accepts an assignment to write a profile on the beloved icon and is given a new perspective on life.

Heller told Variety, “I’m thrilled to be making You Are My Friend. 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.”

“This is the perfect alchemy of talent coming together at the perfect time to remind us all of the transformative power of kindness and respect to heal and to unite. We are proud to partner with Marielle, Tom and everyone at Big Beach to bring this inspirational true story to audiences all over the world,” said Hannah Minghella, president of TriStar Pictures, to Variety.

Big Beach Films will produce the film with Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf alongside Youree Henley. Leah Holzer (Big Beach), Fitzerman-Blue, and Harpster will serve as executive producers.


Turtletaub and Saraf told Variety, “Now more than ever, we all need a re-introduction to Fred Rogers’ message of uncompromising love and kindness between all living things. Mari Heller is the perfect visionary filmmaker to bring Noah and Micah’s script to life and because of her vision and this remarkable script, we have the quintessential actor to play Fred Rogers.”

Hanks is no stranger to playing real-life characters. The actor was recently in the Academy-nominated film The Post as Washington Post editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee. He previously played Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in 2016’s Sully, lawyer James B. Donovan in 2015’s Bridge of Spies, Captain Richard Phillips in 2013’s Captain Phillips, and Mr. Walt Disney in 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks.

Production is set to begin in September.

Facebook Comments