Tom Hanks is slated to play Fred Rogers in the film "You Are My Friend," which will begin filming in Pittsburgh this fall.
The film, which is set for a 2019 release, will follow the friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, who profiled the beloved TV host in 1998 for Esquire magazine.
Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, says "You Are My Friend" will stay in western Pennsylvania throughout the length of the project. While she said she's glad the story of Rogers will be filmed close to home, there are many benefits to having the film shot in Pittsburgh.
"What's more important from our perspective is the hundreds of local jobs for our crew, local businesses and the talent that will be hired to work on this project, spending all that money in our local economy and keeping it in Western Pennsylvania," Keeser said.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Director Marielle Heller said, “It’s a story for our times, a story about kindness and family connection and trying to tap into our better self. God knows we need that right now!”
The screenplay for the film was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, producers of HBO's Transparent.
This is the second recent film focusing on Fred Rogers. Last month, a documentary called "Wont You Be My Neighbor?" marked Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's 50th anniversary, chronicling Rogers' life.