Even with so many films based on the lives of great people like Jobs, 12 Years a Slave and Saving Mr. Banks, it still came as a surprise to me when they announced a movie based on Mr. Rogers.
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the married directing duo known for their films Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks, have been signed on to make a film adaptation of Tim Madigan’s memoir I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers.
Madigan’s book was originally a newspaper assignment in 1995 to create a celebrity profile of PBS icon Fred Rogers, known for his children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The project then grew to be a memoir after Rogers’ death in 2003 and described the relationship between Madigan and Rogers. The book is about Madigan and how he was a “jaded and distracted” husband and father whose life was changed after meeting Mr. Rogers, but surprisingly the two became close friends.
The film, now titled I’m Proud of You, will be produced by Big Beach Films, which is known for some of the biggest Sundance indie films including Safety Not Guaranteed and Our Idiot Brother.
With Dayton and Faris already being known for making great films and mixing that with Big Beach Films destines the Mr. Rogers flick to be a success. I think a movie about the life of Mr. Rogers would be interesting because I do not think anybody knows who he was outside of his TV show, which also means this movie can go in many directions depending on what kind of life Rogers lived.
Abdalah El-Barrad is a freshman studying economics and a columnist for The Post. Who do you think should play Mr. Rogers? Email him at email@example.com.