And don't forget the comfy sneakers.
For those of us who spent countless afternoons in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the news that Focus Features has acquired the rights to a documentary about Fred Rogers is bound to spark some nostalgia. Directed by Morgan Neville, the filmmaker behind 20 Feet From Stardom, the film is set to release on June 8, 2018, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
And while we may have watched Mister Rogers take off his outdoor jacket, put on his zipper cardigan, and pull on a pair of blue sneakers hundreds of times, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the tv personality, producer, and famous puppeteer. After all, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ran for 31 seasons between 1968 and 2000, and it entertained and taught multiple generations of American children (and grownups). The upcoming documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, takes an in-depth look at the creative genius who found a way to touch upon important issues affecting the country and world, while making tough topics appropriate for an audience of all ages. “Morgan once again avoids making a traditional biodoc and instead takes us behind the curtain to see how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the twentieth century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time,” says Peter Kujawski, the chairman of Focus Features, in the press release for the film.
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“The Fred Rogers I discovered making this film is at once comfortably familiar and completely surprising. I believe Mister Rogers is the kind of voice we need to hear right now,” says Neville. While Fred Rogers passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer, the documentary continues his legacy of compassion during a time when we could probably all use some wise advice from the world’s kindest neighbor. “Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of telling his story today,” says Kujawski.