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.