NASA’s Hidden Figures are finally given their time in the spotlight in today’s inspired first trailer for Theodore Melfi’s Oscar-tipped biopic.
Placing Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe in the shoes of brilliant mathematicians, Melfi’s race drama is set during the formative years of the Space Race circa 1960, when Katherine Johnson (Henson) and her fellow African-American women proved instrumental in ensuring the safe passage of John Glenn, the first American to be shot into the inky blackness of space and orbit Earth back in ’61.
Tensions were high between the Soviet Union and America at the time, and Glenn’s mission was staged only a few short months after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit our pale blue dot. But Hidden Figures sets that political context to one side to double down on the core dynamic between Henson and Co., who fought against racism and gender inequality among a largely white, male NASA staff to spearhead “one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.”
Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s novel, Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, the upcoming biopic also features Jim Parsons, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst as fellow NASA employees.
Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures will be cleared for launch on January 13, 2017. Its destination? Oscar territory.