The hit documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? confirmed (through the tears) what we already knew: Mr. Rogers was an all-around decent fellow. The sense of warmth and decency Fred Rogers brought to the world has translated to the latest film from Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring America’s dad Tom Hanks as the beloved television icon and Matthew Rhys, still doing his best Phillip Jennings face, as the journalist tasked with not ruining everyone’s childhoods.
Hanks as Rogers seems like an obvious fit (can you imagine Mr. Rogers in a Carly Rae Jepsen music video? Because I can), but they have very different personality types, as Heller explained. “[Tom Hanks has] a loud voice; he walks into a room and you know that he’s there! He shakes everyone’s hand, he’s really funny, there’s never an awkward moment when you’re around Tom Hanks,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Fred allowed for awkward moments. Fred sat in silence and stillness in a way I don’t think Tom naturally does.”
Watch the trailer above. Here’s the official plot summary.
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.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which also stars Enrico Colantoni, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper, opens on November 22, the heart of awards season.