Last year, we got our first look at Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Most thought it was absolutely perfect. Though, what we actually got to see was Tom Hanks lingering outside the movie studio, sitting on the steps of his trailer. Today, Sony Pictures has released the first official image from the actual movie. And yup, Hanks is nailing it.
Tom Hanks famously played Walt Disney in the Oscar-Nominated look at the making of Mary Poppins Saving Mr. Banks. Now he is taking on another family entertainment icon with Fred Rogers, who hosted Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS for years and is a staple of any young kid's healthy TV diet. We can't think of anyone more suited for the role.
According to Mister Rogers, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD in theaters Nov 22. #RandomActsOfKindnessDay@ABeautifulDay | 📸: Lacey Terrell pic.twitter.com/DMbYZstW94— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) February 17, 2019
A Beautiful Day on the Neighborhood isn't exactly a straight ahead biopic. It will actually follow Fred Roger's most unlikely friendship with a journalist named Lloyd Vogel, as played by Mathew Rhys. The character is based on the real-life writer Tom Junod. It isn't exactly clear why the movie is changing this character, who unwillingly accepts a writing assignment to follow Rogers through his daily routine. Skeptical of Fred, the two soon become friends, and Mr. Rogers' outlook on life turns the skeptic Vogel around. Before long the writer is embracing kindness and empathy.
In this first look photo we get to see Mr. Rogers meeting Lloyd Vogel for the first time as they shake hands. They are hanging out on the set of Fred's popular children's series. You can see various backdrops and models lingering in the background, pulling Vogel ever closer to the land of make believe. Sony says this upon unleashing the first image.
"According to Mister Rogers, "There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind." A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD in theaters Nov 22. #RandomActsOfKindnessDay @ABeautifulDay."
Mr. Rogers ended its original run in 2001, when the last episodes were shot, though older episodes continue to air to this day. Fred Rogers died in 2003. Last year, the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor became one of the biggest and most popular indies released. It was a genuine blockbuster at the box office and something of a phenomenon. Many were surprised to see it snubbed by the Oscars this year. Perhaps the same won't happen for Hanks when it comes time to nominate him for Best Actor.
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is covering different ground than the doc, so this won't feel like a retread of what everyone already saw. Sony Pictures released the image to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day.