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Chris Cooper Joins Tom Hanks in Mr. Rogers Film ‘You Are My Friend’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Chris Cooper is set to join Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys in TriStar’s Mr. Rogers pic “You Are My Friend,” sources tell Variety.

“Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller is helming the movie from a script by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.

The film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Rhys). 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.

Cooper would play Rhys’ father in the film.

The movie is positioning itself as an awards player by setting an Oct. 18, 2019, release date.

Big Beach Films is producing with Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf producing for the company alongside Youree Henley (“The Beguiled”). Leah Holzer of Big Beach will executive produce, along with Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster. The project originated from a true story developed by Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster, first appearing on the Black List in 2013.

Hannah Minghella and Shary Shirazi will oversee the project for TriStar Pictures. Production is set to begin in September.

Cooper’s past credits include “The Town,” “Demolition,” and, most recently, “Live by Night.” Cooper is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

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