Tom Hanks to play Mister Rogers in Are You My Friend biopic

Legendary Hollywood actor Tom Hanks is getting ready to climb aboard Mister Rogers' trolley for a journey to the Land of Make Believe, when he stars as the iconic TV personality in YOU ARE MY FRIEND, a biopic from DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL director Marielle Heller.

Penning the screenplay for the film are Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, who's goal it is to tell of a tale inspired by the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the heart-warming story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.

Producing the biographical feature will be Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf courtesy of their Big Beach shingle, in a partnership with Youree Henley. Both Fitzerman and Harpster will serve as executive producers on the project alongside Leah Holzer, also of Big Beach.

For those of you who're too young to remember, Fred McFeely Rogers was an American entertainer, who dabbled in the subjects of art, puppetry, writing and producing. Along his creative journey, Rogers landed a half-hour educational children's television series in 1963 called Mister Rogers on CBC Television. In 1966, the show was re-branded as Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, a program in which Fred Rogers traveled to the Land of Make Believe to visit his imaginary puppet friends. As the longest-running children's television series until the year 2002, Rogers established himself as one of the most successful children's entertainers the world had ever seen. Sadly, Fred Rogers died of stomach cancer in February of 2003. He'd been active in the entertainment industry from 1951-2001 when he passed.

Recently, another film based on the life and times of Fred Rogers called WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? premiered at this year's Sundance film festival to solid reviews, and is set to be screened in theaters by way of Focus Features, later this year.

Whoa, Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers, huh? I suppose I could see that. Were you ever a fan of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? Have you ever seen the video of him giving the middle finger to the camera while singing a song to his adolecent guests? Or, the video in which he learns to breakdance? Yeah, Rogers was an interesting dude for sure, and I wouldn't put it past him to have lived a life that's worth re-telling up on the silver screen.

We'll bring you more updates on this project as they're announced.



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