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Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris waited six years in between directing the Oscar winning Little Miss Sunshine in 2006 and Ruby Sparks in 2012, but it doesn't appear as though the duo will be waiting that long to make their third feature together. The Wrap reports that Dayton and Faris have settled on their next project, which is set to be an adaptation of the memoir I'm Proud of You written by author Tim Madigan.
The book was first published last year and, according to the publisher's description on Amazon, tells the story of how Madigan, who worked as a journalist in Texas, started a deep and long-lasting friendship with none other than Fred Rogers a.k.a. Mr. Rogers. The two first met when the writer was doing an assignment for a newspaper back in 1995 and became fast friends, the television icon ultimately helping Madigan through a time of deep depression and a rough relationship with his father. The two remained close until Rogers' death in 2003. Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, who wrote the upcoming thriller The Motel Life starring Dakota Fanning and Emile Hirsch, are handling the adaptation's script, while Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub’s Big Beach Films are serving as producers (having previously worked on Little Miss Sunshine).
Most audiences, of course, know Rogers from his long running children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which began in 1963 and ultimately made more than 1000 episodes over 31 seasons. The man spent decades working to teach young people about the importance of manners, politeness, and what it means to be a good human being. And who could ever forget that amazing theme song?
Of course, one of the biggest challenges of this film will be finding the right actor to play the television legend. Given that the story begins when Rogers was 67, they'll obviously have to find an older performer to take the part, but who out there could possibly match the kind and positive energy that Rogers produced? As Madigan's book explains, the man was a unique personality and the world has seen few like him. It's possible that the list of 60-70 year old experienced actors in Hollywood could even end up being too short for Dayton and Faris, making them look to an unknown actor to take the part. It still may be a while before we actually hear any casting news, as it sounds like this project is still in its earliest stages, but it's certainly something to ponder over.
Who do you think they should get to play Mr. Rogers in I'm Proud of You? Let us know what you're thinking in the comments below.