Facing workplace segregation and underlying racial tensions, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) fast became the unsung heroes of NASA circa 1961. Often referred to as the ‘colored computers’, their mission involved the safe passage of astronaut John Glenn in his journey to becoming the first American to be shot into orbit more than five decades ago.
It’s an inspiring story of overcoming the odds, and one that will soon light up the big screen in the form of Hidden Figures. Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s eponymous novel, Theodore Melfi’s star-studded drama takes place just as the Space Race was beginning to reach its darkest hour. Facing pressure from the Soviet Union, the United States fast-tracked a mission that would go on to launch Glenn into space and effectively galvanize the country itself. Mathematics was the real fuel driving that near-impossible feat, and Johnson, Vaughan and Mary Jackson all proved indispensable in a department that was so often reserved for white men.
Rounding out the Hidden Figures casting docket are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell, and today we get to see much of that ensemble in action via the movie’s second trailer. Such a poignant true story is natural fodder for the Oscar race, but will Melfi’s starry biopic go the distance when it touches down in theaters early next year? We’ll find out soon enough.
Hidden Figures is being prepped for launch on January 13, 2017. Its destination? The Oscar race.