Already taking a peek into the Oscars for 2020, TriStar Pictures has given an official title to the upcoming Mr. Rogers biopic. The film will be called “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and it stars two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, the esteemed host of one of the most successful children shows of all-time, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Directed by Marielle Heller, the acclaimed filmmaker behind “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” the film is a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism. Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (played by Emmy-winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.
The film also stars in addition to Hanks and Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson (NBC’s “This Is Us”), and Academy Award winner Chris Cooper.
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is written by Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, the Emmy nominated producers behind Amazon’s “Transparent.” The story is inspired by the article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod. Youree Henley, Marc Turtletaub, and Peter Saraf serve as the film’s producers.
Hanks, who won Best Actor Oscars back-to-back in the 90s for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump,” has long been considered one of the most versatile actors working. Despite this feeling, Hanks has not been nominated for an Oscar since 2001’s “Cast Away” despite strong and award-worthy turns in films like “Captain Phillips” and “The Post,” though both were nominated for Best Picture in their respective years. Could playing Mr. Rogers bring him back to the ceremony for a possible third statue?
There have only been three men that have won three Academy Awards for acting; Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson, and Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s only Day-Lewis however that has won all three of his awards in Lead Actor (“My Left Foot,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Lincoln”). This could put Hanks in this small, and very exclusive club.
The movie will be opening on the heels of the acclaimed documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” from Morgan Neville, and is one of the 15 documentary finalists to be in the running for the upcoming Academy Awards. Nominations for the 91st Oscars will be named on Jan. 22.
This film is not yet rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.