Mister Rogers, played by Fred Rogers, became known for his “Won’t you be my neighbor?” tagline, his sweaters and his overall friendly and empathetic demeanor in the iconic kids’ TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
It’s been 50 years since the show began, so it’s about time that Mister Rogers was re-introduced into the lives of children and adults alike, which is precisely where Tom Hanks, perhaps and equally beloved American entertainer, comes in.
In January, Sony revealed it was producing a film about Fred Rogers called “You Are My Friend,” and that Hanks would play the lead role. But we hadn’t been given a glimpse of the Oscar-winning actor’s transformation for the part until now.
Based on a photo posted to Sony’s Twitter account on Sept. 27, Hanks is going to be perfect when it comes to pulling off Rogers’ signature look. The image shows Hanks looking an awful lot like Rogers, who passed away in 2003. He’s sporting a bright red sweater, of course, has gray hair and, most importantly of all, is wearing a huge smile.
Tom Hanks is Mister Rogers, coming to a neighborhood near you October 2019. pic.twitter.com/2TP3eiPUCx
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) September 27, 2018
This image was more than enough to get fans of Mister Rogers extremely excited about the upcoming film, which Sony expects will hit theaters in October 2019:
Upon seeing the image, Twitter user @alysa_poss wrote, “My whole life has been mere preparation for this moment.”
“This is going to be my favorite thing ever,” wrote Twitter user @sethwards02. “This is my childhood coming back to me with my favorite and most respected actor … I am truly blessed.”
Most people seem to be on board with anything Hanks does, even if they’re, surprisingly, not the biggest “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” fans. Twitter user @DragonflyJonez pointed out that Hanks can make anything interesting, writing, “But Tom Hanks made an amazing movie where it was just him and a volleyball for an hour. He’s gonna knock this out the park.”
Mr Rogers has a very interesting story but I understand ppl thinking he's boring. But Tom Hanks made an amazing movie where it was just him and a volleyball for an hour. He's gonna knock this out the park
— America is musty 2021 (@DragonflyJonez) September 27, 2018
According to the film’s director, Marielle Heller, the movie is not a biographical one. Instead, it focuses on the relationship Rogers formed with a reporter who was writing a story about him. She has said her film will be “a story about kindness and family connection.”
“[It’s about] one man who’s in a critical point in his life — becoming a new father, having issues with his own father — and meeting Mr. Rogers to write a piece about him, thinking it’s going to be a bit of a puff piece, but it ends up changing his entire life,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
I’m not gonna lie, this sounds like the movie we all need at this point in our lives. Can I go ahead and buy my ticket?