Hang Onto Your Sweater and Slippers, Tom Hanks is Playing Mr. Rogers!

Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers photo by Family Communications Inc./Getty Images. Tom Hanks photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.

Tom Hanks, 61, who’s portrayed everyone from astronaut Jim Lovell to Walt Disney on screen, will play Mr. Rogers in a biopic called You Are My Friend.

“Won’t you be my neighbour?”

If you’re Tom Hanks, the answer is “yes.” In fact, the 61-year-old star is taking over the entire neighbourhood.

According to reports, Hanks is officially slated to play Mr. Rogers himself in the biopic, You Are My Friend. Variety, which broke the story, adds that, “The film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.”

The decision to cast one of Hollywood’s most beloved celebs as one of the world’s most beloved children’s entertainers is being almost universally lauded on social media, boosting the topic to world-wide trending status.

Hanks, of course, is no stranger to portraying real-life figures on screen. He’s currently appearing in theatres as celebrated journalist Ben Bradlee in current Academy Award Best Picture nominee The Post and in past films has played pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Sully), American diplomatic negotiator James B. Donovan (Bridge of Spies), Walt Disney (Saving Mr. Banks), sea captain Richard Phillips (Captain Phillips) and astronaut Jim Lovell (Apollo 13).

In a statement, two of the producers of You Are My Friend, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, noted, “Now more than ever, we all need a re-introduction to Fred Rogers’ message of uncompromising love and kindness between all living things … we have the quintessential actor to play Fred Rogers.”

According to Variety, filming is expected to begin in September.