Tom Hanks wants to be your neighbor.
The Oscar winner will play TV personality Fred Rogers in biopic You Are My Friend, which has been acquired by TriStar Pictures.
Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller will direct from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The screenplay appeared on the 2013 Black List.
The feature, which is set to begin production in September, is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. The cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.
Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf will produce via their Big Beach, along with Youree Henley. Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster will exec produce alongside Big Beach’s Leah Holzer.
Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee the project for TriStar.
Rogers, the star of the long-running children’s TV series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, was the subject of the doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is set to be released by Focus Features.
Hanks, repped by CAA, can currently be seen in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. He is set to reprise his role of Woody in Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and is attached to Amblin/Universal’s sci-fi feature Bios.
Heller, who recently wrapped filming on Melissa McCarthy-fronted Can You Ever Forgive Me? for Fox Searchlight, is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.
CAA and UTA brokered the deal with TriStar.
by Mia Galuppo