Matthew Rhys to Star Opposite Tom Hanks' Mr. Rogers in 'You Are My Friend'
The 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' helmer Marielle Heller will direct.
Matthew Rhys is joining the neighborhood.
The feature, which is set to begin production in September, is inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod, who will be played by 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.
Director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) will helm from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster that appeared on the 2013 Black List.
Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf will produce via their Big Beach Films, along with Youree Henley. Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster will executive produce alongside Big Beach's Leah Holzer. Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee the project for TriStar.
Mr. Rogers is the subject of the Focus Features documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, which has earned an impressive $15.8 million at the box office to date, making it the top-grossing doc of the year so far and the No. 2 specialty release of 2018 to date behind Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs ($31.9 million).
Rhys will next be seen in Sony's Mowgli, the Jungle Book retelling from Andy Serkis. He is repped by WME, the U.K.'s United and Management 360.