Mister Rogers Documentary to Debut in Summer 2018
Focus Features has acquired 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,' directed by Morgan Neville ('20 Feet From Stardom').
Mister Rogers will soon be back onscreen.
Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about the life and work of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood's Fred Rogers. Directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom), the film from Tremolo Productions, Impact Partners and Independent Lens/PBS is set to be released June 8, 2018.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is an intimate portrait of Rogers, a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination. His show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was one of the longest-running series on PBS. It wrapped production in 2000 after 31 seasons, but PBS continuously ran reruns of the series through August 2008. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74 from stomach cancer.
“The Fred Rogers I discovered making this film is at once comfortably familiar and completely surprising. I believe Mister Rogers is the kind of voice we need to hear right now,” Neville said in a statement. “I am thrilled to work with Focus Features on taking this film out into the world, along with my collaborators at Impact Partners and Independent Lens.”
Commented Focus chairman Peter Kujawski: “Morgan once again avoids making a traditional biodoc and instead takes us behind the curtain to see how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the twentieth century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time. Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of telling his story today.”
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was produced by Neville, Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma, and is a production of Tremolo Productions in association with Impact Partners and Independent Lens/PBS. The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content and Judith Karfiol on behalf of the filmmakers.