TriStar Pictures is teaming up with Diary of a Teenage Girl writer-director Marielle Heller to bring the story of Fred Rogers to the big screen in the biopic You Are My Friend. Tom Hanks has officially signed on to portray the beloved late television personality, according to Variety.
The film will be made from a script written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. It will tell the story of a real-life friendship that developed between Fred Rogers (of the popular children’s show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) and journalist Tom Junod, who was tasked with writing a piece on Rogers and begrudgingly took the assignment only to be transformed by his unique perspective on life.
“The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit,” said Heller in a statement. “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.”
Hanks is no stranger to playing real-life characters, such as this year in The Post when he portrayed Washington Post editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee; however, this will be Hanks’ first portrayal of such an iconic and public figure and it will be exciting to see how he rises to the new challenge. Hanks will next be seen in the war film Greyhound.