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When we learned Monday that Tom Hanks had been cast as children's television legend Fred Rogers, our hearts grew a few sizes larger.
Or, as one Twitter fan put it, a national treasure would now be playing a national treasure:
We couldn't agree more. Two-time Oscar winner Hanks has played any number of real-life people in his films over the years, including everyone from a heroic pilot in "Sully" to legendary animator Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks." But in the upcoming biopic "You Are My Friend," where he'll play the long-running host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," we think somehow the two personalities will merge even more beautifully.
The story is inspired by the real-life friendship between Rogers and writer Tom Junod, who wrote an article about him for Esquire in 1998.
"This is the perfect alchemy of talent coming together at the perfect time to remind us all of the transformative power of kindness and respect to heal and to unite," president of TriStar Pictures Hannah Minghella told Variety.
And Twitter users seem to agree that this is spot-on casting:
"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was a preschool educational series that aired on various Canadian and American public television networks from 1963 to 2001. Rogers, a multitalented musician, writer, producer and Presbyterian minister who died in 2003 had a soothing, openhearted yet firm manner that made him a welcome presence in millions of homes.
A documentary about Rogers, "Won't You Be My Neighbor," premiered at Sundance this month and will be released this year.
Meanwhile, folks on social media are still shouting with joy:
We can't wait to have Hanks as our neighbor!
Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.