Sony Pictures Entertainment has released the first trailer for Marielle Heller‘s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as the beloved Fred Rogers. The film follows a journalist (Matthew Rhys)who travels to Pittsburgh on duty to profile Rogers and in return learns the gift of humanity only someone like Rogers could give. The film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Cooper.
Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (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.
Like with Morgan Neville’s documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” last year, Heller’s film demonstrates the light of kindness and love Rogers exuded. In the trailer, Hanks shines as the role model who touched the lives of everyone and made them feel genuinely loved, listened to and accepted. The film is inspired by the article “Can You Say. . . Hero?” by Tom Junod, the real life profile written on the loveable, cardigan wearing icon.
Heller directs the film, written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Her previous film, the Lee Israel biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” was nominated for three Oscars; adapted screenplay, supporting actor for Richard E. Grant and lead actress for Melissa McCarthy. Heller’s debut film was with the 2015 dramedy, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” This is her third directorial feature. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, Heller spoke about the many facets of love and inspiration she pulled from the man himself.
From the EW interview:
“He’s a guide for how to slow yourself down and connect with what’s true in your heart, your kindness, your patience, and your goodness,” Heller tells EW of Rogers’ charms. “Having his voice in my head for the past two years while I’ve been making this movie has made me a better parent.”
I know it translated into how I wanted to make this movie, and the process by which we work creatively and how we treat the crew. I approached every decision with the movie as: ‘How would Fred approach this? How can we treat everybody with a level of emotional empathy and compassion that shows that we value everyone?’ That was his main message: Everyone is valued.”
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is produced by Big Beach Films and Tencent Pictures. It is distributed by TriStar Pictures and Sony Pictures. It releases in theaters November 22.