Movies

Which actor should play Mr. Rogers on the big screen?

May 6, 2013 at 9:46 AM ET

Matthew Broderick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons.
Getty Images file
Matthew Broderick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons.

There was no one in the world quite like Fred Rogers, who often shared that sentiment with his young audience on the long-running PBS show "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." But if, as Deadline is reporting, a feature biopic is set to be made about Rogers, they're going to have to to find someone at least a little bit like him.

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" (thus far a working title) is a script written by former "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" writer Alexis Jolly, and is currently being put into shape for the eventual film.

"His keen ability to find the good in anyone, or anything, will make for a truly inspiring cinematic experience," producer Justin Nappi told Deadline.

So who among today's leading male lights could play Rogers? On the one hand, he was laid-back and gentle, even childlike, but you never doubted his smarts and ability to get things done. He took kids to the Neighborhood of Make Believe all the time, after all.

We've got a couple of our own ideas of who might work in the role -- Matthew Broderick certainly has a wide-open optimism; Jim Carrey has proved he can carry off sweet, sentimental and funny; Paul Rudd might be on the hunky side but he's got plenty of depth; Neil Patrick Harris still looks young enough to be Doogie Howser and he's witty; "Mad Men's" Vincent Kartheiser has the look down but would need to convince audiences of his sincerity after so many weaselly seasons; and Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" could channel his nerdy charm into the right combination of empathetic and lighthearted.

Sadly, there's one actor who probably won't be up for the role, despite his repeated appearances on "Saturday Night Live" as Mr. Rogers' urban brother-from-another-mother, Mr. Robinson -- Eddie Murphy. But that'd be for a whole different movie.

(Note: Mild profanity in video.)

Who do you think would make a great Mr. Rogers? Let us know in our poll!

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