BY ANNIE MAY
Next fall there will be a new neighbor on the block.
Sony Pictures has announced that Tom Hanks will be playing the role of famous TV personality, Mr. Rogers in an upcoming film about the television icon.
Mr. Rogers, formally known as Fred Rodgers, was an American TV icon starring in his own show for children titled “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” which aired from Feb. 1968 to Aug. 2001, producing 912 total episodes.
Rogers’ passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer.
“He was radical, I know everyone says that, but he really was.” said Elizabeth Seamans in the recent documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and who played the role of Mrs.Mcfeely in the series.
“Mister Rogers Neighborhood” touched upon topics that were not of popular conversation at the time. Some subjects discussed were divorce to racial segregation.
These were topics at the time that were not openly discussed, especially to children.
This information may sound familiar, as Rogers’ life and legacy was documented in, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” that premiered in June of 2018. This film touched upon his life and legacy.
However, this new upcoming film, according to CBS news, will delve deeper into Roger’s personal life and the impacts he made on others throughout his lifetime.
“I heard about it and I was super excited because I like Tom Hanks as an actor. The preview looks good, it looks like they are taking everything a step further and not just documenting who Mr. Rogers was, but also the impact he made,” said junior Sophie Nestico.
According to an interview from Entertainment Weekly, the director of the film Marielle Heller said that the movie is not a documentary, instead the film follows a reporter and how their life changed after meeting Fred Rogers.
USA today reports, “This film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. Junod is depicted as a cynical scribe who begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write an esquire profile on the iconic Mr. Rogers. He finds his life perspective transformed in the process.”
For Tom Hanks, recently announced to be playing Mr. Rogers, this is not the first time he has played a well-known celebrity. In 2013, Hanks portrayed the role of Walt Disney in the film, “Saving Mr. Banks”
“I’m not sure how I feel about the film. Tom Hanks was phenomenal as Walt Disney in ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, but I feel that Mr. Rogers is a bit more of a sensitive guy and I’m not sure how Hanks will tackle that,” said senior Danielle Neville. “Also, a lot of Mr. Rogers persona is the fact that he voices the majority of the characters, and I’m not sure how Hanks will be with impressions.”
Hanks has won numerous awards, one of the more memorable ones being his portrayal of Forrest Gump in 1994, where he won an academy award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (1995). Hanks also won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for his acting in “Sleepless in Seattle”.
“Tom Hanks is amazing in any role he takes and the fact that he is playing a national treasure like Mr. Rogers makes me feel like everyone will be a part of ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’,” said junior Victoria Oliva.
This upcoming film is expected to be in theaters Oct. 2019.