“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was a favorite television show for generations of children, and now, Fred Rogers‘ extraordinary life is the subject of a new film starring Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” The film focuses on the star’s relationship with journalist Tom Junod, who came to know Rogers intimately while writing a profile on him for Esquire in 1998.
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” premieres on Nov. 22. The film is directed by Marielle Heller. Hanks portrays Rogers, while Junod is played by Matthew Rhys. The official trailer for the movie just dropped, and it’s super-emotional.
Check it out in the clip posted to YouTube by Sony Pictures Entertainment:
“It only takes one person to inspire a world of kindness,” the trailer proclaims.
Fred Rogers was certainly known for that!
“He’s a guide for how to slow yourself down and connect with what’s true in your heart, your kindness, your patience, and your goodness,” director Marielle Heller told Entertainment Weekly. “Having his voice in my head for the past two years while I’ve been making this movie has made me a better parent.”
To make the film true to life, Heller consulted with Rogers’ family, including his wife Joanne. The movie was also filmed in the same Pittsburgh studio where “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was filmed. Former employees of the show were also hired as crew for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” to make it as authentic as possible.
According to Heller, Hanks easily transforms into the childhood icon.
“We’re so used to [seeing] Fred in that world, to see somebody else inhabit it, it takes a moment for your mind to flip,” Heller said of Hanks’ performance. “His performance is so powerful, that, a few seconds later, you forget, and it’s gone.”
The show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” ran on PBS from 1968-2001, entertaining and educating generations of children in their own homes with its kind host and puppets from the Land of Make Believe. In doing so, Rogers also changed the landscape of children’s television.
Fred Rogers died in 2003. The last movie about him was 2018’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and was released just a couple of months before he had a Forever stamp dedicated to him by the U.S. Postal Service.
Are you excited to catch “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”?