Tom Hanks Just Signed On to Play One of TV's Most Iconic People in New Movie


Actor Tom Hanks has given us plenty of iconic family-friendly movies over the years.

We laughed it up during “Big,” still quote lines from “A League of Their Own,” and relish introducing “Toy Story” to our children and grandchildren.

Hanks doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Currently, the film star is appearing in Steven Speilberg’s The Post, playing the role of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.

Now, Hanks is preparing to step into one of television’s most iconic family-friendly roles.

With filming set to begin this fall, many are saying the film’s altruistic message couldn’t come at a more poignant time in American culture.

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Hanks is slated to step into the shoes of the legendary Fred Rogers, famously known from the educational children’s television series “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

The program, which began in 1968, featured the gentle and kindhearted Mr. Rogers singing, playing piano, and teaching children the ins and outs of a healthy neighborhood.

The upcoming Mr. Rogers biopic is titled, “You Are My Friend.” According to Variety, the film is inspired by a real-life relationship between a grumpy news journalist and Fred Rogers.

As Variety reports, the cynical journalist in the film, Tom Junod, isn’t thrilled with the task of writing about Mr. Rogers. But as the film develops, the journalist finds a refreshing new perspective on life.

“I’m thrilled to be making ‘You Are My Friend,’” said film director Marielle Heller. “The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit.”

A mother herself, Heller expressed a longtime admiration for the work and person of Fred Rogers. The film’s message, she said, “truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.”

Fred Rogers passed away in 2003 after a battle with stomach cancer.

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A few months before his passing, Rogers left a message to his fans, thanking them for taking care of children, and encouraging them to continue.

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“It’s such a good feeling to know that we’re lifelong friends,” Rogers said at the time. And now, his message of healing and unity can reach a new generation of neighbors.

Hannah Minghella, president of TriStar Pictures, spoke of the film’s appropriate timing combined with talented people.

“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,” Minghella expressed.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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