AceShowbiz - The first look at Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers has arrived. Officially released by Sony Pictures through its Twitter account, the photo sees the awards-winning actor embodying the kind and warm spirits of the late television personality.
The 62-year-old actor channels Fred Rogers in a red cardigan over a white shirt and blue patterned tie, teamed with tan slacks and blue sneakers. He's smiling while sitting on a trailer. He sports greyish hair to further copy Fred Rogers' look.
Tom Hanks is Mister Rogers, coming to a neighborhood near you October 2019. pic.twitter.com/2TP3eiPUCx— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) September 27, 2018
The film, which is developed under the name "You Are My Friend", is currently shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under the direction of "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" helmer Marielle Heller. The script is written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
Billed as a "timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism," it is based on 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.
Heller previously said that the movie wouldn't be a straightforward Fred Rogers biopic. "I disliked that when it got announced it was characterized as [a biopic]," she said. "It's really not. It's a movie that's largely focused on a reporter and [Mr. Rogers'] relationship to his life, and how [the reporter's] whole world changes when coming in contact with Fred Rogers."
She continued, "It's a story for our times, a story about kindness and family connection and trying to tap into our better self. God knows we need that right now! In the research for the movie, the writers found that more people than they could possibly count credited Mr. Rogers with changing their lives.... [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."
The film, which will be retitled, is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on October 18, 2019.