It’s hard to think of many individuals who have ever been as universally beloved as Mr. Rogers. For generations and generations of kids and their parents, he was a constant source of compassion, understanding, and warmth. So any film about his life faced the massive task of finding someone equally as loved by so many. Without the right actor to fill Mr. Rogers’ enormous loafers, it wouldn’t work. Which is why it really had to be Tom Hanks to play him, as the first trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood proves. It reminds us why the late kid’s show host meant to much to so many.
“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.”
Note: You can read the original Esquire article the film is based on.
This film doesn’t just have the legacy of Mr. Rogers to live up to. It follows last year’s fantastic and emotional documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? That inside-look at the personal life and career behind one of the greatest kid’s series in television history, whose decency and kindness remains a source of good in the world, was moving and inspirational.
The success of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will likely rest on how much audiences can accept someone, even someone as talented and popular as Tom Hanks, playing a man who can’t be replaced. Yet, by the end of this trailer, when a train full of kids and adults are singing his theme song to him, it’s impossible not to get lost in the joy Mr. Rogers brought to the world wherever he went. Even the idea of Mr. Rogers makes any day and any neighborhood better.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood comes to theaters this fall, November 2019.
Featured Image: Sony Pictures Entertainment