The New Mr. Rogers Movie – And The Article That It’s Based On
The trailer for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood", the new Mr. Rogers movie, is out. The movie itself won't be out until November, but - c'mon, Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers? Who WON'T be going to see that?!
If you've seen the documentary, "Won't You Be My Neighbor" (and you should), you probably know everything you need to know, fact-wise, about Mr. Rogers. But the Tom Hanks movie will show the true power of Fred Rogers. The movie is based on an article Tom Junod wrote for Esquire about Mr. Rogers in 1998. A writing assignment that turned into a therapy session for Tom (for some reason, they use a fictional journalist named Lloyd Vogel in the movie). Here's the original article Tom wrote. Yes, there's some "salty" language - but it's still worth the read. If you're a writer, it doesn't get much better than this piece.
I lived and worked for twenty years in Pittsburgh, where "Mr Rogers Neighborhood" was filmed. I never met Fred Rogers. I wish I'd had. I probably could've made it happen, but I was too cool at the time to pursue it. (I did meet a lot of the "neighbors" in the neighborhood - Mr. McFeely, Bob Trow (Bob Dog), Joe Negri (Handyman Negri and a tremendous jazz guitarist), Chuck Aber (Neighbor Aber), Don Brockett (who played Chef Brockett AND - in "Silence of the Lambs" - the most vile of the fellow inmates of Hannibal Lechter) You'd never see Fred Rogers in parades or in high profile public settings, it was always David Newell - Mr. McFeely - who was a nice guy and was public relations director for Fred Rogers Productions)
By the end of their time together, Fred Rogers had changed Tom Junod as a person. Let's see what the movie can do. Here's the trailer: