As if you hadn’t cried enough with the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in the upcoming biographical drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, set to release this November. The film, based on a 1998 Esquire profile about Rogers, follows the relationship between journalist Tom Junod and Rogers as his subject. Just from the trailer, it is evident that Tom Hanks fills the role like no one else can, bringing his authentic positive attitude and kindness to embody Mr. Rogers.
Alongside Hanks is award-winning Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, known for his role as Phillip Jennings in The Americans; Rhys plays jaded journalist Lloyd Vogel, based on real-life journalist Tom Junod. The trailer, released today, gives us a glimpse of the heartfelt film to come, including clips of Tom Hanks performing Mr. Rogers’ classic opening to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, complete with his changing from his formal blazer to his more approachable knit sweater and comfy shoes.
The trailer also features classic Mr. Rogers-isms, including the encouraging note that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes, as well as a heartfelt closing in which a diverse group of young children, teens, and grown police officers sing Mr. Rogers’ opening theme to him on the subway (based on a real event detailed in the Esquire piece). The trailer’s captivating preview of the film, steeped in sweet nostalgia, makes it almost impossible to wait until November to see the entire film; even so, we’ll have plenty of time to prepare our emergency tissue packs to dry the tears we’re bound to shed.
By Sam Spotswood
Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures