A second trailer has been released for Won't You Be My Neighbor?, the much buzzed-about documentary about Fred Rogers and his beloved PBS TV series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Documentaries, especially those released in the midst of the summer movie season, aren't usually prone to generating hype or getting multiple trailers, but most of them aren't about one of American pop culture's most beloved icons either. It also helps that Won't You Be My Neighbor? earned raves at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and has only continued to make waves at its subsequent stops along the film festival circuit.
Won't You Be My Neighbor? is one of two upcoming films that focus on the life and times of everyone's favorite cardigan-loving neighbor, with the other being the Tom Hanks-led memoir You Are My Friend. Docudramas that cover the same topic as a celebrated documentary before them tend to make less of a splash (see The Walk, Snowden), but there may yet be room for both Mr. Rogers films to thrive. Whereas You Are My Friend focuses on Tom Junod's famous 1998 profile on Mr. Rogers (written five years before his passing), Won't You Be My Neighbor? looks at Fred's greater legacy through the lens of his landmark TV show.
According to Focus Features' official synopsis, Won't You Be My Neighbor? goes behind the scenes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to explore "the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination." The film was directed by Morgan Neville, who has been making documentaries for over twenty years and previously won an Oscar for his 2013 film 20 Feet from Stardom, which explores the lives of backup singers. For a fresh look at Neville's Mr. Rogers' documentary, watch the new trailer for Won't You Be My Neighbor? in the space above.
The new trailer for Won't You Be My Neighbor? further builds hype for the film by highlighting pull quotes from its many positive early reviews, as well as reactions from big names like director Judd Apatow. Among other things, critics are celebrating Neville's documentary for championing many of the same values that Mr. Rogers himself stood for (empathy, compassion, kindness) and showing how he was so effective in using Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to make gentle, but clear, political statements. Naturally, the latest trailer focuses more on the praise around the film, leaving it to the movie proper to dive into those social and political issues.
Since the film will begin in a limited release and roll out to more markets throughout June, Focus Features has set up an official site where people can sign up and get a calendar reminder when Won't You Be My Neighbor? opens in their city. Obviously, the movie will be playing in far less theaters than June's big sequels and tentpoles (a la Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and thus won't be anywhere near them on the box office charts, either. All the same, it's in a good position to thrive as counter-programming when it hits the scene and continuing on through to the months of summer ahead.
Won't You Be My Neighbor? opens in select U.S. theaters next month on Friday, June 8.
Source: Focus Features