People.com reports that Sony Pictures released the first photo of Tom Hanks in character as Mr. Rogers on Thursday, immediately giving fans around the world a burst of joy. The Oscar winner, 62, is smiling happily at the camera in a bright red sweater pulled over a buttoned-up shirt and tie over khaki pants — the familiar outfit Fred Rogers is remembered for wearing.
Hanks is also sporting gray-dyed hair and eyebrows, making him look even more of a transformation into the beloved TV personality for the untitled Mr. Rogers film.
Sony also revealed the movie will hit theaters Oct. 2019.
The film will focus on Rogers’ unlikely friendship with award-winning journalist Tom Junod, who got to know the television personality while writing a 1998 profile on the star for Esquire magazine.
TriStar Pictures described the film as a heart-warmer in which “a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed.”
Rogers, the star of the beloved, long-running children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was the subject of the doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He died in 2003 at the age of 74.
The film’s director Marielle Heller recently cleared up what the movie would be about, clarifying that it won’t be a biopic.
“[This] movie is…. not a biopic,” the filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly. “I disliked that when it got announced it was characterized as such. It’s really not. It’s a movie that’s largely focused on a reporter and [Mr. Rogers’] relationship to his life, and how [the reporter’s] whole world changes when coming in contact with Fred Rogers.”