Crew Member on Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers Movie Dies After Falling from Second Story Balcony
James Emswiller, a 61-year-old member of the sound production team, died Thursday night after falling two stories from a building where the movie was shooting
It’s a sad day on the set of the upcoming Mister Rogers movie.
James Emswiller, a 61-year-old member of the project’s sound production team, died Thursday night after falling two stories from a building where the movie was shooting, according to USA Today and the Associated Press.
Mt. Lebanon Chief of Police Aaron Lauth told PEOPLE hours before Emswiller died that the production member was “taking a break” when he collapsed and fell from the balcony of the building.
“Basically, he appears to have suffered from a medical emergency while on the balcony,” Lauth said at the time. “He was taking a break and smoking a cigarette when he fell.”
“He fell from the second story of the building. Other crew members were inside the building, but not on the balcony. They noticed he wasn’t there and saw him down on the ground,” he continued.
Emswiller won an Emmy in 2015 for outstanding sound mixing for a limited series or a movie for HBO’s Bessie.
Tom Hanks, who is playing the beloved TV personality, was on set throughout the day, Lauth said. The AP reported Hanks was also on set at the time of the incident.
A rep for the actor did not immediately respond for PEOPLE’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Big Beach Films, the movie’s production company, also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
WATCH: Tom Hanks to Star as Mister Rogers in Upcoming Movie
The Oscar winner made headlines in late September when Sony Pictures released the first photo of the actor in costume as Fred Rogers.
He was pictured smiling happily at the camera in a bright red sweater pulled over a buttoned-up shirt and tie over khaki pants — the familiar outfit Mr. Rogers is remembered for wearing.
The film will focus on Rogers’ unlikely friendship with award-winning journalist Tom Junod, who got to know the television personality while writing a 1998 profile on the star for Esquire magazine.
The film will hit theaters in October 2019.