Variety has the scoop that Hanks has signed on to star as Fred Rogers in "You Are My Friend," a film that's loosely based on the real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In 1998, Junod wrote a celebrated profile of Rogers for Esquire magazine, inspiring the film's plot.
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
Here's the logline, per Variety:
" ... a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed."
In addition to Hanks -- who, as a fellow national treasure, is perfectly cast as Rogers -- the impressive team behind "You Are My Friend" includes director Marielle Heller. Heller, who received rave reviews for her debut feature, 2015's "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," said in a statement that she was "thrilled" to get behind the camera again for "Friend."
"The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit," her statement said. "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."
We can't wait, either.
No word yet on when "You Are My Friend" is expected to hit theaters. Stay tuned.