Mr Rogers’ Life Story Getting Big Screen Treatment?

Kara Warner
Senior Reporter
Movie Talk

Is Mr. Rogers a big screen star? Would he be? Could he be? It appears there are some decision makers in Hollywood who think so. Deadline reports that “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a spec screenplay about the late and beloved TV icon, has been picked up by Treehouse Pictures with the intent to make it a big screen feature.

The plot details have not yet been disclosed, but judging from what Treehouse exec Justin Nappi told Deadline about the project, it is safe to assume the movie to be a biopic.

“Fred Rogers was such an inspirational man for so many people,” said Rappi. “His keen ability to find the good in anyone, or anything, will make for a truly inspiring cinematic experience. In literally shaping the world around him to fit into his own unique perspective, he created what is arguably the most influential American children’s television show of all time.”

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” was written by Alexis Jolly, who worked as a staff writer on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Despite the fact that he has few credits to his name just yet, Jolly’s connection to DeGeneres bodes well for the project, mainly because her pleasant, nice-girl persona including her sendoff “Be kind to one another,” has plenty of similarities with Rogers’ famously charming, compassionate demeanor.

Now aside from the casting frenzy this project is likely to stir up for such a plum role, the other big question likely playing on everyone’s minds is, to what demographic is the movie targeted? “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired from 1968 through 2001 and although his audience was composed mostly of very young children and their parents, but ask anyone who watched his show as a child or parent and they will get a happy nostalgic look in their eyes. Rogers’ legacy, he passed away in 2003, might be one of the most positive and influential in pop culture history, so if this movie aims to capture that spirit and takes us on a loving trip down memory lane, the film will appeal to audiences new and old.