Tom Hanks Is Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (But How Mr. Rogers Is He?)

Illustration for article titled Tom Hanks Is Mr. Rogers in iA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood/i (But How Mr. Rogers Is He?)
Screenshot: Tri-Star Pictures/YouTube

Tom Hanks will play children’s television trailblazer Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, due out in November. The trailer for the biopic dropped on Monday, and I’m not seeing Hanks disappear into the role so much as Hanks playing it. His is a slightly butcher, deeper-voiced Mr. Rogers (Hanks doesn’t seem to have altered his speech much beyond a mild twang).

Generally, portraying an icon demands transformation, but given director Marielle Heller’s stellar track record (Diary of a Teenage Girl, Can You Ever Forgive Me?), there’s still reason to hold out hope for this movie. We’ll see. If nothing else a stray shot of Hanks in an orange leather jacket reminds us that Mr. Rogers once appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, in case you forgot (I did).

So that’s fun.


Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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hello haaaaaaaay

What we really need is like a sociological study on how a certain generation (apparently those of us commenting on this story) feels an intense attachment to Mr. Rogers. It’s different than Sesame Street or Barney or whatever the other shows are kids watched. Blues Clues? The lady with the lamb puppet? But it is a deep, familial connection to Rogers. Like watching that trailer I was tearing up, this bittersweet melancholy feeling, feeling like I had this unique connection to Rogers. Then I scroll down and everyone else feels the same. What is it about him and about this show that is so different from any other kids show? It’s so interesting!