Hi neighbor! That’s right, in an exclusive from Variety, we are told that TriStar Pictures has landed worldwide distribution rights to the biopic You Are My Friend and Tom Hanks is attached to play the fondly remembered TV personality, Mr. Rogers.
Marielle Heller, director of Diary of a Teenage Girl will be at the helm of the biopic from a script by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Heller stated:
“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.”
The story of the film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed. Sounds totally sweet and totally Rogers. This is a movie sure to pull on all of our heart strings.
President of TriStar, Hannah Minghella had this to say:
“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.”
Honestly, I think it is about time. Rogers was an amazing person who truly believed in the power of kindness and lived this throughout his life. Just taking a trip through his Wikipedia page and going through everything he had created and how long his career spanned is absolutely astonishing.
“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.”
This was said by Big Beach producers, Marc Turtletaub and Youree Henley.
Get ready to throw on your house sweater and take off your sneakers as production for You Are My Friend will begin in September. Bye neighbors!