Crew member dies after fall on set of Tom Hanks movie

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

From Digital Spy

A crew member has died after a fall on set of the new Tom Hanks movie about beloved US TV children's host Mr Rogers in western Pennsylvania.

Associated Press reports that 61-year-old sound mixer James Emswiller suffered a medical emergency and fell two stories off a balcony during a break in filming on Thursday night (October 11). Allegheny County noted that he fell around 7.30pm and later died in hospital.

The biopic was filming a scene in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania at the time, with local police reporting that Emswiller fell over a brick wall on the balcony of an apartment building. Filming was stopped for the night while authorities investigated the tragic incident.

(Tom Hanks as Mr Rogers)

"This is a devastating tragedy and the studio is investigating the matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's loved ones, friends, and colleagues," said Sony Pictures and TriStar Pictures in a statement (via EW).

The biopic, which is directed by Diary of a Teenage Girl's Marielle Heller, follows the real-life friendship of Rogers and journalist Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys).

Rogers and Junod met after the writer was asked to write a profile piece on Rogers. Although initially sceptical of the man behind the kids' TV charm, Tom found his perspective on life completely transformed by their meeting.

Photo credit: Fotos International - Getty Images

Fred Rogers was the star of the long-running US TV series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which was also the subject of a recent documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?.

The currently-untitled biopic is set for release in US cinemas on October 19, 2019.

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