It looks like Matthew Rhys has found his next project now that The Americans has officially wrapped after six seasons on FX. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Rhys will be moving into the neighborhood to star alongside Academy-Award winner Tom Hanks in the upcoming Mr. Rogers biopic You Are My Friend.
You Are My Friend is “inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers (Hanks) and award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Rhys). The cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved TV icon Mr. Rogers and finds his perspective on life transformed.” The screenplay, which originally wound up on the 2013 Black List, was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. It will be directed by Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Marielle Heller.
The iconic children’s show host is already on the big screen right now thanks to Focus Features’ documentary called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? While I haven’t yet seen the documentary, the trailer alone brought me to tears. The film takes audiences through the incredible and moving life of Fred Rogers, who brought so much happiness and wisdom to the lives of people everywhere. It’s already earned a whopping $15.8 million at the Box Office, further proving that audiences would be more than happy to see a reverent Hollywood A-lister like Hanks step into the coveted role.
Mister Rogers’ Neighboorhood was on the air for an astounding 31 seasons and 895 episodes, winning 2 Daytime Emmy Awards and the 1969 Peabody Award along the way. In 1969, Rogers famously appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications in an effort to support funding for PBS. You can watch his powerful statement in full below.
Rhys will soon appear as John Lockwood in the upcoming Andy Serkis film Mowgli and is set to appear in the Death and Nightingales miniseries alongside Jamie Dornan. You Are My Friend will start shooting in September and will premiere just in time for a 2019 Oscar consideration on October 18, 2019.