Crew Member From Tom Hanks’ Mister Rogers Film Tragically Dies After Falling Off Balcony On Set

Tom Hanks attends the 'People's Choice Awards.'
Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Tragedy has struck the set Tom Hanks’ highly anticipated Mister Rogers film.

According to TMZ, 61-year-old crew member, James Emswiller, died in a freak accident on the set of the film last night. Emswiller was reportedly on a balcony on the movie’s set in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was taking a cigarette break when he fell two stories.

He was alone at the time of the incident but other crew members heard a thump and went to see what was going on. A nurse at the scene tried to revive him before EMTs arrived but he was in full cardiac arrest. Emswiller was later taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy where he was pronounced dead three hours after the incident.

Tom Hanks, who will portray the infamous Mister Rogers in the untitled film, was reportedly on set when the tragic accident occurred. Sony Pictures, who is producing the movie, released a statement following the tragic incident.

“This is a devastating tragedy and the studio is investigating the matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s loved ones, friends, and colleagues.”

According to Us Weekly, Emswiller has been in the film industry for quite some time. The sound technician started his career in the industry in 1989 and has had a lot of his work recognized, including in 2015, when he won an Emmy for his work on HBO’s Bessie. Some of his other works include The Avengers, Jack Reacher, Out of the Furnace, The Fault in Our Stars, and Foxcatcher.

A few weeks ago, the Inquisitr shared photos of Tom Hanks transformed into the iconic Mister Rogers. The film is based upon the life of Fred Rogers and it deals with both his unfailing compassion as well as his innate ability to make every child feel respected and listened to. This is what set the TV host apart from many others stars at the time.

The movie also touches on the friendship between Rogers and Tom Junod, who was a journalist. Junod says that he thinks that Hanks is perfectly cast for the role and he’s very excited about it.

“The really cool thing about Tom Hanks playing Fred is that Fred and Tom Hanks are similar in a really essential way in that they are gentle people, they are soft-spoken people, but they are powerful people. I think that Tom Hanks can really bring that aspect of Fred out.”

The movie originally started filming under the name You Are My Friend but later it was moved to an untitled project. It is scheduled to be released next October.