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Tom Hanks and Mister Rogers

Tom Hanks Set to Star as Mister Rogers in “You Are My Friend”

TriStar Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to You Are My Friend, the biopic about TV personality Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the television series that pioneered children’s television, that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

You Are My Friend is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the story, the cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed. And attached to star as Mister Rogers is none other than Oscar-winning badass Tom Hanks.

Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller will direct the film, from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

The feature is inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. The cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved TV icon Mr. Rogers and finds his perspective on life transformed.

I can’t wait to bring his story to the public … which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.”

Director Marielle Heller said, “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 film is set to begin production fall 2018, with Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf producing via Big Beach Films, along with Youree Henley. Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster will executive produce alongside Big Beach’s Leah Holzer.

Hannah Minghella, President of TriStar Pictures said, “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.”

Turtletaub and Saraf said, “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.”

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