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Tom Hanks is everyone's favorite neighbor in first photo from his upcoming Mister Rogers biopic

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The late Fred Rogers has been one of 2018’s biggest cinematic stars, thanks to Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a celebration of his career and guiding compassionate ethos that to date has grossed $22.6 million, which is the 12th-largest haul for a documentary in American box-office history. Thus, there should be a considerable interest for the upcoming Hollywood biopic about the beloved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood host — especially considering the legend who’s playing him.

Though it doesn’t yet have a title, the upcoming 2019 Sony Pictures film will star none other than Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, and as you can see from the first photo from the set (above), he seems more than up to the challenge, at least in terms of his appearance. Sporting the children’s television great’s trademark red sweater and blue sneakers while sitting on the steps of his production trailer, Hanks ably resembles Rogers. Just as crucially, his smile has the same warm, inviting quality as the one that Rogers habitually gave to young viewers over the course of his four-decade-plus on-air career.

Loosely based on Tom Junod’s 1998 Esquire profile “Can You Say… Hero?”, the film will concern the relationship between the writer (played by The AmericansMatthew Rhys) and Rogers, with the former learning along the way to let go of his cynicism in the face of his subject’s unfailing kindness and altruism. Directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), it’s yet another project in which Hanks will play a real larger-than-life figure (after, most recently, Sully and Saving Mr. Banks). And it seems like precisely the sort of feel-good drama that will capture the attention of both audiences and awards voters come next year.

“The really cool thing about Tom Hanks playing Fred is that Fred and Tom Hanks are similar in a really essential way in that they are gentle people, they are soft spoken people, but they are powerful people. I think that Tom Hanks can really bring that aspect of Fred out,” Junod told Esquire earlier this year.

The Fred Rogers biopic arrives in theaters in October 2019.

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