It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood when Mister Rogers is around.
Tom Hanks brings the late TV icon back to life in the first trailer for his new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The film is based on an article written by journalist Tom Junod (played by The Americans Emmy winner Matthew Rhys), that centered on the TV star Fred Rogers and the ensuing friendship the two formed before Rogers’ death in 2003.
Rhys portrays Junod as a jaded magazine reporter who is assigned to profile the children’s TV show host, and it follows him as he overcomes his skepticism and learns Rogers’ valued thoughts about empathy, kindness and decency.
The trailer starts with Hanks singing Rogers’ iconic theme song as Rhys watches before they sit down to start their interview.
“This piece will be for an issue about heroes. Do you consider yourself a hero?” Rhys, 44, challenges Hanks, 63, early on.
“We are trying to give the world positive ways of dealing with their feelings,” Hanks says. “There are many things you can do. You can play all the lowest keys on the piano at the same time.”
“Sometimes we have to ask for help, and that’s okay,” Hanks’ Rogers says later on in the trailer. “I think the best thing we can do is to let people know that each one of them is precious.”
Rogers, the star of the beloved, long-running children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? that premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and was a hit at the summer box office.
Director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) recently cleared up what the movie would be about, clarifying that it won’t be a biopic.
“[This] movie is…. not a biopic,” the filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly. “I disliked that when it got announced it was characterized as such. It’s really not. It’s a movie that’s largely focused on a reporter and [Mr. Rogers’] relationship to his life, and how [the reporter’s] whole world changes when coming in contact with Fred Rogers.”
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood arrives in theaters Nov. 22.