Sony Pictures Entertainment dropped the first official trailer of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Tom Hanks is playing Steve Rogers, the friendly TV personality that reminded everyone to be good.
Mirrored with the original “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” the trailer starts with Mr. Rogers singing the classic theme song. This time, it’s Hanks who is doing the singing and asking the audience, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
Just like the host himself, Hanks — with gray hair and a nicely-pressed suit — changes into a red cardigan and some sneakers. He even does the iconic shoe toss.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not a biopic about Rogers’ life but is instead, inspired by the real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), a cynical journalist assigned to write a profile of the long-running television host in 1998.
Based on the trailer, we see that Junod is given a new name, Lloyd Vogel who arrives on the iconic set of PBS’s Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, where he plans to interview Fred Rogers for Esquire’s “heroes” issue.
“This piece will be for an issue about heroes,” Rhys’ character tells Rogers in the new clip. “Do you consider yourself a hero?”
He responds, “We are trying to give the world positive ways of dealing with their feelings.”
“There are many things you can do,” Rogers offers up. “You can play all the lowest keys on the piano at the same time.”
Vogel is a fictional character based on Tom Junod’s original work. Like in real life, he documents about the effect Rogers’ optimistic kindness had on millions of people. He initially accepts the job with a cynical approach as his wife (Susan Kelechi Watson) asks him not to “ruin her childhood,” in the trailer.
The skeptical journalist overtime shifts his perspective on life and eventually turns a new leaf as he begins to see the world with more positivity as he got to know Mister Rogers more.
Towards the end of the short 2-minute trailer, a group of subway riders sings “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” to Rogers, who beams and says they did a wonderful job. A tasteful and heart-warming scene that represents how much Mister Rogers has touched people’s lives not only for children but in all ages.
The feel-good film will attempt to give the same effect that Mister Rogers once did. Known as the kindest man in television history, the original “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired for 31 seasons since 1968 and came to an end in 2001.
Unfortunately, Rogers died in 2003.
Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) directs the film. The screenplay, based on Junod’s Esquire article and written by Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue.
Also starring in the movie are Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Cooper.
Last year, Won’t You Be My Neighbor—a documentary about Fred Rogers was the surprise hit of the summer, which received positive reviews from critics and viewers. Furthermore, it did good with box office, grossing more than $22 million in ticket sales.
Filmmaker Morgan Neville, who directed the 2018 documentary said: “I think what he was trying to do is teach us how to be human. This new medium was coming television. He recognized something from the moment he saw it, that many generations of children were going to be raised by this thing, and that somebody had to use that as a tool to help children.”
As part of the marketing for the film, a Facebook group for “Mister Rogers’ Helpers” is advertised at the end of the trailer, exhorting the audience to spread his “legacy of kindness.” The name of the group is a reference to a story Rogers cited a number of times: that his mother always told him, during times of trouble, to “look for the helpers.”
In other news, the film was supposedly slated for a much earlier release in October 2018, but the movie’s set was a site of a tragedy when the Emmy-winning sound mixer James Emswiller fell from a two-story building during filming and died.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is now slated to release around Thanksgiving on November 2019.