A Crew Member Has Died After an Accident On the Set of Tom Hanks’ Mr. Rogers Movie
A sound technician on the upcoming Mr. Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks died after an accident on the film’s Pennsylvania set on Thursday night. According to reports, the 61-year-old man fell two stories from a balcony and died from the injuries later that evening.
Police identified the man to WPIX-TV as James Emswiller, a sound mixer on the film. The crew was on the second day of shooting an interior apartment scene in Mount Lebanon, outside of Pittsburgh, according to CBS News. Around 7:30 pm, Emswiller fell over the brick wall of an apartment building while taking a smoke break on the deck. Police told the news station that the man’s fall may have been caused by a medical issue. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in serious condition and died from injuries an hour later.
Hanks, who plays the beloved children’s TV host Fred Rogers in the biopic, was allegedly on set and left after the incident, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Filming was canceled for the rest of the evening, though it remains unknown if production has continued.
Emswiller had a long career as a sound mixer with credits on The Avengers, Jack Reacher, and The Fault In Our Stars. He won an Emmy for his work on HBO’s Bessie. He also worked on a handful of upcoming projects, including Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
The film, which comes from director Marielle Heller, was at one point titled You Are My Friend but remains untitled. It’s based on the relationship between the Mister Rogers Neighborhood hosts and a journalist, played by The Americans’ Matthew Rhys.