Tom Hanks will play TV personality Fred Rogers in biopic You Are My Friend, which has been acquired by TriStar Pictures, Variety reported.
Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller will direct from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
“I’m thrilled to be making ‘You Are My Friend,’” Heller said. “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 inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. The cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.
It is finally happening, and in the best of ways: a movie, very loosely based on the article I wrote for @Esquire 20 years ago, with Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, two innovative screenwriters from “Transparency” scripting, and Marielle Heller directing. Well-timed, for this moment. https://t.co/JWsOCmL6XB
— Tom Junod (@TomJunod) January 29, 2018
“It is finally happening, and in the best of ways: a movie, very loosely based on the article I wrote for Esquire 20 years ago, with Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, two innovative screenwriters from ‘Transparency’ scripting, and Marielle Heller directing,” Junod wrote on Twitter.
“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,” said Hannah Minghella, president of TriStar Pictures.