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Tom Hanks to star in Mr. Rogers biopic "You Are My friend"
Zoe Poindexter
Tom Hanks has signed on to play Mister Rogers in the filmYou Are My Friend, a biopic about the children's television pioneer and personality behind Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

The film is inspired by the unlikely, real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod.

TriStar Pictures, which announced the movie Monday, describes it as a heart-warmer in which "a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed."

Diary of Teenage Girl filmmaker Marielle Heller will direct based on the screenplay written byMicah Fitzerman-Blueand Noah Harpster.

"The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit," Heller said. "As a mother, I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and as a human I am in awe of his life's work. I can't wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture."

Rogers was recently the subject of the documentaryWon't You Be My Neighbor that premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and is set to be released by Focus Features. He died in 2003.

Production forYou Are My Friendis set to begin in September. A release date has not be announced yet.

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