UPDATE: In a surprising casting choice, Grammy nominated singer, Janelle Monáe will star along side Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the forthcoming film Hidden Figures about a group of African American scientists and mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s. Here are the latest casting details via The Wrap:
Octavia Spencer will play Dorothy Vaughan and Monae will play the youngest member of the trio, Mary Jackson. Kevin Costner will co-star as the head of the space program.
“Hidden Figures” marks Monae’s first role in a studio movie, though she recently wrapped Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” which Brad Pitt‘s company Plan B produced for A24.
In her Golden Globes speech for “Best Actress In A TV Drama,” Taraji P. Henson shared that she was surprised that out of all of the other work she’s done over the past two decades—including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Karate Kid—her role as a drug dealer on Empire is what’s most lauded.
Taraji is definitely basking in her moment as one of Hollywood’s “It” girls. The actress is using her platform to add even more positive and empowering roles to her slate. Taraji has just signed on to play NASA scientist and expert mathematician Katherine Johnson in the new upcoming film, Hidden Figures.
Here are the details of the plot via Variety:
“[FOX] has been developing the adaptation of the Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” published by HarperCollins.
The story centers on Johnson, a brilliant African-American mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history — the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return. The three women crossed all gender, race and professional lines while embarking on the mission.”
According to Shadow & Act, Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were on the short list to play the other starring roles but additional cast announcements have yet to be revealed. Production is set to begin in the next month with the film slated for a January 13, 2017 release.
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This project is so important. Honored to portray #KatherineJohnson Katherine G. Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is an American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician who contributed to America's aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. Known for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation, she calculated the trajectory for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. #blackhistorymonth 💋💋💋