EXCLUSIVE: It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Susan Kelechi Watson. The This Is Us star has landed a role opposite two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys in You Are My Friend, the movie about one of America’s most beloved childhood icons Fred Rogers. Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller is directing the film from a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.
It’s inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers (Hanks) and award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Rhys). In the heart-warming story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.
Sony’s TriStar Pictures acquired the worldwide rights from Big Beach. Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf of Big Beach will produce alongside Youree Henley, while Leah Holzer of Big Beach, Fitzerman-Blue, and Harpster will serve as exec producers.
Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee the project for TriStar.
Watson, who can be seen in the upcoming third season of the NBC hit drama (premiering September 25), is repped by Authentic Management, UTA, and Jackoway Austen.