Tom Hanks plays the kids TV icon
Tom Hanks’ upcoming movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has been described as a “timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism”. It sees the Oscar winner taking on the role of the beloved late US TV host Mr Rogers and is set to arrive later in 2019.
Here’s everything we know about it so far.
When will A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood be released?
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will be released on 6 December 2019 in the UK and a couple of weeks earlier, on 22 November 2019, in the US. It had originally been scheduled for a October 2019 release, but was later pushed back.
What is the plot of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
An official synopsis for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood reads:
“Jaded and cynical exposé journalist, Lloyd Vogel, is ordered to do a piece on the much beloved television personality, Mr. Fred Rogers. Initially highly distrustful of his subject’s sincerity, Lloyd warily and slowly comes to appreciate the genuine honesty and deeply held convictions of Mr. Rogers, eventually writing not an exposé but a heartfelt tribute to a true American Hero.”
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood focuses on the real-life Fred Rogers (better known as Mr Rogers), a US television personality who hosted the long-running Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood children’s show from 1968 to 2001.
It’ll provide a dramatised account of Rogers’ friendship with journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a famous Esquire feature about the star in 1997. The film’s character of Lloyd Vogel is based on Junod.
The film’s title comes from the theme song of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which opened the line, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.” had a working title of You Are My Friend.
Is there a trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
Not yet, but we’ll post it as soon as it’s released.
What’s the cast for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
Tom Hanks will play Mr Rogers in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Director Marielle Heller has said of Hanks’s casting: “We’ve had a lot of conversations about the character and he understands the essence of Mr. Rogers,. The response to that casting has been overwhelmingly positive, because even though he doesn’t look exactly like [him], essence wise, he’s in the same vein.”
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, who worked alongside Hanks in 2017’s The Post, will appear as journalist Lloyd Vogel. Meanwhile, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson, Enrico Colantoni, Maryann Plunkett, Tammy Blanchard, Wendy Makkena, Sakina Jaffrey, Carmen Cusack, Noah Harpster and Maddie Corman are all signed up too.
Who is Mr Rogers?
Fred Rogers was born in March 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Early in his life, he was ordained as a minister before – dissatisfied with how children were taught through television – became involved in local TV, eventually hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS for over three decades between 1968–2001.
Known for his virtuous nature, Rogers has become something of a nostalgic figure and modern national treasure, even receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W Bush in 2002.
A documentary about Rogers, titled Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, was released last year. Watch a trailer for that below.
Junod’s Esquire piece about Rogers can be read here. Notably, it showed how Rogers’ real-life personality purely reflected that of his on-screen persona.
Who is directing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
The Diary of a Teenage Girl filmmaker Marielle Heller directs, based on a screenplay written by Transparent producers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The script had previously featured on the 2013 Black List (a industry list of the best unmade movie treatments).
Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf are producing the movie through their Big Beach Films company, while Youree Henley will also produce. Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster will also serve as executive producers alongside Leah Holzer.
“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!” director Heller told Entertainment Weekly in March 2018.
“In the research for the movie, the writers found that more people than they could possibly count credited Mister 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.”
Have any images been released?
The first photo to be released from the movie showed Hanks as Rogers, wearing the TV star’s signature red cardigan. See that picture below.
A second image was released in February 2019, showing Hanks’ Rogers alongside Rhys’ Vogel. Sony tweeted the photo, along with the caption: “According to Mister Rogers, ‘There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.’”