Sony Pictures released the trailer for their upcoming film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks, giving viewers a glimpse into the life of TV icon and minister Fred Rogers.
The film is based on an article written by journalist Tom Junod, who formed a friendship with Rogers following a journalistic profile the reporter did on the TV pioneer. The movie will tell of their encounter and the friendship that followed.
The trailer kicks off with Hanks singing the iconic “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme song. The nostalgic sound and visual will immediately transport viewers back to the first time they heard and saw the beloved childhood role model.
In the clip, Junod (played by Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is heard telling Rogers, “This piece will be for an issue about heroes. Do you consider yourself a hero?”
“We are trying to give the world positive ways of dealing with their feelings,” Hanks as Rogers can be heard telling the reporter. “There are many things you can do.”
Oscar-winning actor Hanks sports Rogers' signature cardigan, sneakers and a welcoming smile.
"Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" ran on a number of networks in the U.S. and Canada from 1968 to 2001. Rogers worked in television for more than 30 years after graduating college. The only breaks he took from TV work were times he devoted to his Christian faith. Rogers attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963.
The TriStar Pictures film will also show glimpses of his faith. In the trailer, Rogers is seen kneeling at his bedside reading the Bible.
“Sometimes we have to ask for help, and that’s OK,” 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.
Junod was on assignment to write a profile on the TV icon, and although he was initially cynical and begrudgingly took the assignment, Junod's perspective on Rogers changed as his life was transformed by his friendship with Rogers and that is the story "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" will tell.
Junod's profile on Rogers, "Can You Say... Hero?" was published in Esquire in 1998. The journalist talks about how he learned to pray and describes some of his experiences with the Presbyterian minister. The piece gives readers a feel for Rogers' essence while exploring what he thinks children lose as they grow up.
Rogers died of stomach cancer at age 74 in 2003. He was survived by his wife of 51 years, Joanne Rogers, and sons James and John.