Husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, whose directorial debut Little Miss Sunshine received four Oscar nominations, is tapping into that warm and fuzzy positive energy concept again for I’m Proud Of You, a biopic of the iconic TV series host Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, that delighted children for 33 years.
The adaptation by scribes Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, who penned the upcoming thriller The Motel Life with Dakota Fanning and Emile Hirsch, is from the autobiographical novel/memoir of Tim Madigan. Madigan, a callous and uninterested father with a rocky marriage and a poor relationship with his own father, had his life changed forever when he interviewed Fred Rogers for a newspaper article. They became lifelong friends, with Rogers providing Madigan the empathy and compassion he provided to the children of his TV audience. I’m Proud Of You is a testimony of how Fred Rogers helped Madigan turn his life around.
I’m Proud Of You is not the only biopic of Fred Rogers coming to the big screen (as seems to be the habit of Hollywood on multiple counts). Alexis Jolly, a writer for the Ellen DeGeneres show has sold her script for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood to Treehouse Pictures. The film is currently in pre-production.
With Little Miss Sunshine grossing over $100 million worldwide, the expectations for I’m Proud of You are high. Fred Rogers’ character starts the movie at age 67 so there isn’t a large acting pool to select from. Social media is showing William H. Macy (Fargo, TV’s Shameless) as a fan favorite for the part.
I’m Proud Of You is being produced by Big Beach Films (Kings of Summer, Safety Not Guaranteed), Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, and Youree Henley (The Bling Ring).