The movie about Fred Rogers — aka Mr. Rogers — starring Tom Hanks as the beloved children’s television personality finished filming in the fall, without having a proper title. Now, Sony Pictures has settled on a name for the major motion picture.
The previously untitled film, due to hit theaters on October 18, has been named A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, according to Variety.
As fans of the iconic TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood will recall, the title comes from the first line of the series’ theme song — although Rogers sings “this neighborhood” instead of “the neighborhood” during his program’s opening.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is inspired by the heartwarming real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junrod. The writer penned a profile — “Can You Say… Hero?” — on the entertainer in the November 1998 issue of Esquire magazine. Junrod said that Rogers changed his perspective on life.
The Americans actor Matthew Rhys plays the fictionalized character based on Junrod, who has been renamed Lloyd Vogel for the film. This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson plays Vogel’s wife, Andrea, and Blue Valentine’s Maryann Plunkett portrays Rogers’ wife, Joanne.
Chris Cooper (Adaptation), Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars), Tammy Blanchard (Guiding Light), Wendy Makkena (Sister Act), and Sakina Jaffrey (Timeless) are among the other stars the movie.
“The script knocked me out with its message of kindness and its exploration of the human spirit,” said director Marielle Heller when the project was first announced last January, Variety reported at the time.
“As a mother, I am so inspired by the teachings of Fred Rogers and, as a human, I am in awe of his life’s work. I can’t wait to bring his story to the public and be a part of such a thoughtful, smart group of people who are all coming together to make this film, which truly feels to me like an antidote to our very fractured culture.”
Hanks’ film will be the second movie in two years to be released in theaters about Rogers. In mid-2018, to honor what would have been his 90th birthday, the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? hit the silver screen. It soon became the top-grossing biographical doc of all-time domestically, grossing more than $20 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Tragedy struck the production of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in October when a 61-year-old crew member, James Emswiller, died in a freak accident after falling off a balcony on the film’s set in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the Inquisitr previously reported.