First photo of Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers is released, and the internet loves it

First photo of Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers is released, and the internet loves it

The world is a dark place sometimes. Starving children in third-world countries, innocent citizens wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years, the messy beef between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B - why is every news article a soul-crushing pit of despair? Can we go one minute without being sucked into a vortex of sadness? Yes, we can. But just for a minute.

Last January, Sony Pictures announced that they cast everybody's favorite actor - Tom Hanks - to play everybody's favorite children's show host, Mr. Rogers. (Sorry, Barney.) Generations of children grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, which aired from 1968 to 2001. The compassionate cardigan-clad TV icon taught kids about life, exploring everything from food to bullying to divorce. And who could forget riding the electric trolley to the whimsical Neighborhood of Make-Believe?

But most of all, the show empathized love. "Everyone longs to be loved," said Mr. Rogers. "And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving." In today's world, we're bitterly divided by politics, Star Wars sequels and pineapple pizza. It seems like we need Mr. Rogers more than ever.

The movie, entitled You Are My Friend, is based on a story from an Esquire reporter in 1996. According to Variety, "The film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod. In the story, a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed."

"[This] movie is…. not a biopic,” the director, Marielle Heller, 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."

In the first photo released from the project, Tom Hanks wears one of Mr. Roger's familiar outfits: a bright red cardigan sweater, khakis and a tie. The 62-year-old Oscar-winner looks perfect for the role, and the internet loves it. "This is the most wholesome image that exists in the universe," wrote one Twitter user, while another added, "Incredible. Wonderful. ALL the good things!! Needed a bright spot today. Thank you!"

One Debbie Downer pointed out that Tom Hanks doesn't look exactly like Mr. Rogers. Another replied, yeah, but so what? Will Smith didn't look exactly like Muhammad Al, and Leonardo DiCaprio didn't look exactly like Howard Hughes, and Jamie Foxxx didn't look exactly like Ray Charles, and those movies turned out pretty well, so BACK OFF ALREADY. YOU'RE RUINING THE VIBE.

This concludes the only happy, wholesome news article you will read today. Did you hear about the adorable little puppy who had his legs and arms chopped off before being dumped in the woods?