‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ Writers on What’s Fact and Fiction in Mr Rogers Movie

  • The Wrap
‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ Writers on What’s Fact and Fiction in Mr Rogers Movie
A version of this story about “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” first appeared in the Actors/Directors/Screenwriters issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

“It’s a delicate dance that you do with your subjects,” said Micah Fitzerman-Blue, one of the two writers of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the film based on the friendship between children’s TV icon Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and a cynical journalist based on Esquire writer Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys). To get the rights to Rogers’ life and his work as the host of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” he and Noah Harpster spent years working with the Rogers estate — whose head, Bill Eisner, initially told them, “I’m happy to meet with you, but you should know that there will never, ever be a Mr. Rogers movie.”

Over the years, though, Eisner came to trust the writers and eventually granted them access to
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