Today marks what would have been the 91st birthday of someone who continues to change the world for the better even though he has been gone for many years: Mister Rogers.
To celebrate, Sony Pictures/TriStar has released this new image of Tom Hanks playing the beloved children’s television star in the upcoming heartwarmer A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
If you ever watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, you know this moment — when he pauses while changing into his sneakers, tossing one dress shoe through the air while he sings his opening song.
The movie is from filmmaker Marielle Heller, who made 2015’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl and directed Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant to Oscar nominations this year with Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Hanks stars as Rogers later in life when he is the subject of a magazine profile by a cynical reporter (played by The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys).
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which opens Nov. 22, was shot in and around Pittsburgh, where the real Mister Rogers lived and worked his whole life.
Fred Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pa., on March 20, 1928, and had a somewhat lonely childhood, often entertaining himself with puppets and dolls who became like friends to him.
Later, when he began his career in broadcasting at the public television station WQED, his memories of that playtime led him to create a puppet-filled world called the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
After decades teaching children kindness, resilience, curiosity, and joyfulness, Rogers ended his show in 2001. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died the next year at age 74.
In the years since, love and affection for Mister Rogers has only grown. Last year’s hit documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? explored the forces that shaped his personality and beliefs, leaving many audiences in tears by the end.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a partly fictional tale inspired by a real article written by journalist Tom Junod, but all it takes for many fans is seeing their old neighbor again…and the waterworks begin.
- Remembering Mister Rogers, a true-life ‘helper’ when the world still needs one
- 7 emotional items from Won’t You Be My Neighbor?