You Are My Friend (film)

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You Are My Friend
Directed byMarielle Heller
Produced by
Screenplay by
CinematographyJody Lee Lipes
Edited byAnne McCabe
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
  • October 18, 2019 (2019-10-18) (US)
CountryUnited States

You Are My Friend is a tentative title for the upcoming American drama film directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, and Chris Cooper. It will be released on October 18, 2019, by TriStar Pictures.


An award-winning cynical journalist, Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write an Esquire profile piece on the beloved television icon Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and Vogel's perspective on life transformed after his encounter with Rogers.[1]



On January 29, 2018, it was announced that Sony's TriStar Pictures had bought the worldwide distribution rights to the film You Are My Friend, a biographical film based on a 1998 Esquire magazine article about television personality Fred Rogers, who would be played by Tom Hanks.[2] The film's script by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster appeared among the 2013 Black List of best unproduced screenplays and it would be directed by Marielle Heller, while producers would be Big Beach's Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf along with Youree Henley.[2] In July 2018, Matthew Rhys joined the cast of the film to play the journalist Tom Junod, with production set to start in September 2018.[3] In August 2018, Chris Cooper was added to the cast to play Junod's father,[4] and in September, Susan Kelechi Watson was added.[5] In October 2018, Enrico Colantoni, Maryann Plunkett, Tammy Blanchard, Wendy Makkena, Sakina Jaffrey, Carmen Cusack, Noah Harpster and Maddie Corman joined the cast of the film.[6]

Principal photography on the film began on September 10, 2018 in Pittsburgh, with several sets converted into New York City.[7] Filming also took place in Fred Rogers Studio at WQED (TV) where the late television host recorded Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Production wrapped on November 9, 2018.


On October 12, 2018, sound mixer James Emswiller had a heart attack and fell from a second-story balcony. He was taken to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Mercy, where he was pronounced dead.[8]


You Are My Friend is scheduled to be released on October 18, 2019, by TriStar Pictures.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Emmy-Winning Sound Mixer Dies After Fall on Set of Tom Hanks' Mr. Rogers Biopic". Variety. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (January 29, 2018). "Tom Hanks to Play Mr. Rogers in Biopic 'You Are My Friend' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 17, 2018). "Matthew Rhys to Co-Star With Tom Hanks in Mr. Rogers Film 'You Are My Friend' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 21, 2018). "Chris Cooper Joins Tom Hanks in Mr. Rogers Film 'You Are My Friend' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 13, 2018). "'This Is Us' Star Susan Kelechi Watson Joins Tom Hanks In Mister Rogers Pic 'You Are My Friend'". Deadline. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 25, 2018). "Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers Film Rounds Out Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Bauder, Bob (September 14, 2018). "Pittsburgh turns into NYC for filming of Tom Hanks' Mr. Rogers film". Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Delbyck, Cole (2018-10-12). "Mister Rogers Movie Crew Member Dies After Fall On Set". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  9. ^ Busch, Anita (May 10, 2018). "'Bad Boys For Life,' Tom Hanks' Starrer 'You Are My Friend' Get Release Dates From Sony". Deadline. Retrieved July 17, 2018.

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