Some of the best casting in recent memory had to be the decision to cast Tom Hanks, who is generally regarded as being actually as nice as he seems to be in the movies, as Fred Rogers, the children's TV show host who also appears to be pretty much exactly the guy he played on the small screen. Beautiful Day on the Neighborhood will tell the story of Fred Rogers and an unlikely friendship, and now our first look at the film itself appears to show the movie's two main characters meeting for the first time. Check it out.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will co-star Matthew Rhys as a journalist named Lloyd Vogel, who is based on real-life journalist Tom Junod. In the film, Vogel will begrudgingly accept an assignment to write about Rogers, but after meeting the man, Vogel will begin to give up his natural skepticism and begin to embrace Rogers' perspectives on empathy and kindness.
The image released on Twitter by Sony appears to show the moment that these two characters will meet in the film. They're on the set of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, with various backdrops and models in the background that make up Rogers' house and the land of make believe.
While we had previously seen one official image released which showed Tom Hanks in costume as Fred Rogers, that appeared to be a simple publicity shot, this is the first look at the film itself.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood aired its final regular episode in 2001 and Fred Rogers died in 2003, but there may be no better time to make a movie about the man that so many children grew up with. Last year the documentary film Won't You Be My Neighbor took a look at the man behind the television show. It was a highly regarded and well reviewed film, that somehow was not nominated for an Academy Award because clearly the Oscars didn't learn anything from Mr. Rogers.
Still, if you did love Won't You Be My Neighbor, then you're probably all set for a movie like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. While the world often seems dark and cynical, knowing that somebody like Fred Rogers was actually a real human can make you feel a lot better about everything. The fact that Fred Rogers is being played by Tom Hanks only makes the entire thing feel that much more like the cinematic equivalent of a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate.
Though, if you haven't seen Won't You Be My Neighbor yet, allow me to recommend that you not watch it on an airplane. You get some really questioning looks from people wondering why you're crying your eyes out by yourself on a plane.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is set for release this October.