Five decades ago, African-American mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were tasked with the impossible: to ensure the safe passage of John Glenn in his journey to becoming the first American to be shot into orbit circa 1961. A difficult, borderline unthinkable task in and of itself, to make matters worse, escalating tensions between the Soviet Union and the US of A sparked the famous Space Race, as the two duelling nations competed for supremacy in spaceflight and, in particular, sending a manned mission to the Moon.
A defining time in the history of NASA, Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson’s painstaking work is often overlooked, brushed aside under Glenn and NASA’s crowning achievement – that is, until now. Adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly’s novel, Theodore Melfi’s drama Hidden Figures has aligned itself with an awards-friendly January release, and today brings forth the extended new trailer to cast light on those unsung heroes.
Battling institutionalized racism and gender inequality, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe are on board as the marginalized geniuses. Just recently, the former chatted to Empire about her character, Katherine Johnson: “Today’s society would call Katherine a nerd or a geek. But she’s a genius. Sometimes when you know a lot, you don’t say a lot.”
Orchestrating “one of the greatest operations in history,” it’s little wonder why Theodore Melfi’s space biopic has found itself smack bang in the middle of Oscar territory. Blending true-life drama with a commanding cast, our only concern is that, much like its predecessor, this new trailer leaves little to the imagination.
Hidden Figures, also starring Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons, will be cleared for launch on January 13, 2017. A UK release will follow in February.