After his exceptional work on The Americans, Matthew Rhys will be pleased to find his next acting job a more uplifting affair. Rhys is currently in talks to co-star alongside Tom Hanks in the 2019 biopic You Are My Friend, detailing the friendship between Mr. Rogers Neighborhood host Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. The film will be headed by director Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl) and is based off a script co-written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
You Are My Friend will focus on an infamous 1998 Esquire interview conducted by Junod (Rhys) on Roger and his show. Originally approaching the interview cynically, Junod would eventually find his perspective on life transformed after meeting the beloved children’s icon. Junod himself has praised Hanks’ casting as Rogers, describing the two as “similar in a really essential way in that they are gentle people, they are soft-spoken people, but they are powerful people.” Given the overwhelmingly positive reception to the recent Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, it’s likely that this film will strike a similar emotional chord.
Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee production for You Are My Friend this September on behalf of TriStar Pictures. The film is currently set for an October 18, 2019 release date.