In a casting move that is pleasing some moviegoers and stunning others, Tom Hanks [VIDEO] has signed on to play Fred Rogers in the biopic entitled "You Are My Friend." TriStar Pictures holds the film's worldwide distribution rights. Michelle Heller, who directed "Diary of a Teenage Girl" is set to direct Mr. Hanks as he portrays Mr. Rogers. Big Beach Films is producing this biopic.

Won't you be my neighbor?

The script for "You Are My Friend" was written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, who were formerly known as consulting producers on Amazon Studios' critically acclaimed "Transparent" under their company moniker Blue Harp.

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The story of "You Are My Friend" follows the real-life friendship between Rogers and American journalist Tom Junod. The distrustful Junod was hired by Esquire magazine to write a profile of Rogers' life in the late 1990s, never guessing that the sweater-wearing icon would change his own cynical views on life.

America's Dad

For the most part, reactions to the news that Hanks will be portraying Rogers have been largely positive. Moviegoers seem excited to see how the two-time Oscar winner will channel the quiet, fatherly Rogers. Fans of Hanks will point to the many fatherly-type roles in which he has already starred, including 1989's "The Burbs," 1993's "Sleepless in Seattle," and 2011's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," just to name a few. With all of this fatherly experience, and given his incredible acting range, It's a pretty safe bet that Hanks will have no trouble becoming Fred Rogers.

Real-life characters

Hanks also seems to be quite comfortable portraying real-life characters such as Fred Rogers. His most recent foray into playing a real person was in last year's Oscar-nominated film "The Post," in which he played Ben Bradlee, executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991.

Hanks also portrayed real-life hero Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger in the film of the same name ("Sully") in 2016.

Perfect timing

Some have said that, in our country's current atmosphere of pessimism, unbridled hate, and general nastiness, there couldn't be a better time to be making a film about a man who embodied respect, kindness and the power of love to unite us all. Hanks' nice-guy persona should easily help to transform him into the Emmy-winning Rogers. This might help to explain why social media went crazy when it was announced last night that Hanks was the new Mr. Rogers. People are looking for a feel-good film and for someone to tell them that everything will be alright, that they will live to see another day. What better character to reassure us all than Fred Rogers? As Mr. Rogers himself used to sing at the end of each show, "It's Such A Good Feeling."