Production has officially started on You Are My Friend. Sony has released our first look at Tom Hanks as the iconic Mister Rogers. The movie chronicles the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, who was a bit of a pessimist when he first met the friendly television icon. Rogers ends up teaching Junod about empathy, decency, and kindness throughout the course of their friendship. The new image of Hanks as Rogers is pretty unbelievable, and is sure to put a smile on your face.

The casting of Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers has to be one of the best castings in Hollywood history. Hanks is Rogers in the picture, but not from just the wardrobe. Hanks has a similar face as well as a similar demeanor that makes him perfect for the role. Hanks has a decency about him that is close to the genuine love for life and humanity that the late great Fred Rogers had, and you can see it in his smile in the first look at the actor in You Are My Friend.

In addition to the image of Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, Sony also revealed that You Are My Friend will open in theaters October 2019. While there's still over a year to go before we see the film, there's still plenty to look forward to, especially the first footage of Hanks in action. It's way too early to predict, but this role seems like it will earn Hanks an Academy Award nomination, if not an award, which would be his first nomination since 2001's Cast Away.

Related: Crew Member Dies On Set of Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers Movie

Fred Rogers has been in the news a lot over the past several months after the release of the Won't You Be My Neighbor documentary, which shares the story of Fred Rogers' life as told by his close friends and family, as well as guests on his show. One thing is evident from watching the documentary, and that's the fact that Rogers was the same man on camera as he was off the camera. Tom Junod is even featured in the movie talking about his close friend, and laying the foundation for You Are My Friend.

You Are My Friend is directed by Marielle Heller and it will tell a completely different story than what was shown in Won't You Be My Neighbor, which could end up taking the Best Documentary Academy Award. The documentary showed hints of darkness and Fred Rogers being unsure of himself, but You Are My Friend will show Rogers being an influence on adult in an effortless manner. It's nice to see that Mister Rogers is still in the public eye, especially in a time where the world could really use some extra smiles. You can check out the first official photo of Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers below, thanks to Sony Pictures.

Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in You Are My Friend photo

Kevin Burwick