Tom Hanks Set to Play Mister Rogers in Upcoming Biopic
By Alex Ungerman
Welcome to the neighborhood, Tom Hanks!
ET can confirm that the 61-year-old actor is set to play Mister Rogers in You Are My Friend, an upcoming biopic about the life of the beloved children's television icon, whose show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, was a staple on public television for 31 seasons, from 1968 until 2001. Fans all over the world mourned less than two years later when Rogers died of stomach cancer in Feb. 2003.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller has signed on to direct the film, which will begin shooting this Fall.
“I’m thrilled to be making You Are My Friend,” Heller said in a statement to Variety. “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.”
Mister Rogers is only the latest feel-good real-life figure Hanks is paying homage to, as he has kind of become the go-to guy for doing just that -- From Sully, to Captain Phillips, to Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, and this year as former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee in the Oscar-nominated film, The Post.
And when he's out of people to play, Hanks may need to consider running for office!
Watch the video below for what he jokingly told ET about the prospect of joining an Oprah Winfrey ticket.