Tom Hanks wants to be your neighbor.
The actor has signed on to star as Mr. Rogers in the upcoming biopic You Are My Friend, a drama about the children’s television pioneer.
The film will focus on Fred 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.
TriStar Pictures, which announced the movie Monday, described the film as a heart-warmer in which “a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.”
Rogers, the star of the beloved, long-running children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was the subject of the doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He died in 2003 at the age of 74.
Diary of a Teenage Girl filmmaker Marielle Heller is set to direct the film.
“The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit,” Heller 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.”
A release date for You Are My Friend has not yet been set.