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Tom Hanks to play Fred Rogers in You Are My Friend

Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Hanks is to play TV personality Fred Rogers in new movie biopic You Are My Friend.

The feature, which is set to begin production in September, will examine the real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod.

It will kick off after the cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.

Marielle Heller, of Diary of a Teenage Girl fame, will direct from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. The screenplay appeared on the 2013 Black List.

Hanks can currently be seen in Steven Spielberg’s The Post playing another real-life figure, former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. He has also played Charlie Wilson, Walt Disney and Captain Phillips.

Rogers, the star of the long-running children’s TV series Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood, was the subject of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour?, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to playing real-life characters, Hanks is set to reprise his role of Woody in Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and is attached to Amblin/Universal’s sci-fi feature Bios.