Crew member dies on Mr. Rogers movie set with Tom Hanks

Lewis Collier
October 12, 2018

A sound mixer was in critical condition Thursday after falling two stories off a balcony while working on the set of a biographical film about Fred Rogers, the late host of the popular children's program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", according to reports.

Police arrived at around 7:30 assist the injured crew member after an on-set nurse and other members tried to help him.

The Marielle Heller-directed film - now without a name but previously developed under the title You Are My Friend - was shooting a scene in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, just south of the city.

The victim, who was transported to an area hospital, may have suffered a medical event prior to falling over the brick wall surrounding the balcony, Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Aaron Lauth said.

Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in the biopic, with Matthew Rhys co-starring as a journalist who became friends with Rogers.

In 2015, Emswiller won an Emmy for outstanding sound mixing for a limited series or a movie for the HBO production of "Bessie".

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He also worked on major films including The Avengers and Jack Reacher. During the break, Emswiller went out to take a smoke break on a second-story balcony when people heard a noise, soon realizing he had fallen two stories.

Emswiller was rushed to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for treatment but succumbed to his injuries.

The Hanks film is set to be released in October 2019 by TriStar Pictures.

The film is inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Rhys).

It's described as a heartwarming tale in which 'a cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed'.

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