Who Runs The World?: NASA's "Hidden Figures"


Happy International Women’s Day to all of the talented, genius, brave, and beautiful women of the world! Congratulations are also in order for a few more well -known figures of the entertainment industry. It was just announced by The Wrap, that Janelle Monae will be joining actresses Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the new film Hidden Figures.

monae-janelle-685x250Photo above: Janelle Monae

The title comes from the soon to be HarperCollins published non-fiction novel Hidden Figures: The African American Women Mathematicians Who Helped NASA and The United States Win The Space Race, written by Margot Lee Shetterly. In the book Shetterly details the lives of four African-American women mathematicians that provided NASA with computing power necessary to achieve great feats in space. According to Shetterly, the untold stories of these awesome women pioneers including Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith, and Barbara Holley, is told through only four specific women’s personal accounts. It is also set in a time where defining historical moments such as the Cold War, The Space Race, and the Civil Rights movement were all taking place.


Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 6.23.05 AMPhoto above: Katherine Johnson and Taraji P Henson

According to TheWrap.com, the film will be based on only three of the women mathematicians who were the brains behind the Friendship 7 mission that helped astronaut John Glenn become the first American to orbit earth in 1962. Meanwhile, producers at Chernin Entertainment first had Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis in mind when casting during the initial talks of the movie, says Tambay Obenson of Shadow and Act. However, Taraji P. Henson was the first to be cast as the headline of the film playing Katherine Johnson, states Obenson. Kevin Costner will also co-star as the head of the space program while Octavia Spencer is set to play Mary Jackson, says thewrap.com.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 6.23.46 AMPhoto above: Mary Johnson and Octavia Spencer

In addition, Ted Melfi, the director of St. Vincent, is set to direct this feature film. The adaption was written by producer Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films and the award winning film “Shakespeare in Love” and the screenplay adaptation was written by Allison Schroeder.

Billboard.com also states that Janelle Monae has a love for NASA and says she would love to join their tech team and has reached out in hopes of getting a free ride to space.

Like Shetterly says most people have only one idea of how a scientist looks, “...in a white lab coat and utilitarian eyeglasses, wearing a pocket protector, and holding a test tube. Mostly male. Usually white.” With that said, it will be wonderful to see the stories of Black women being shared on the big screen in such a captivating new storyline. Once again congratulations to the fly writer and journalist Margot Lee Shetterly and the beautiful and ladies that will be starring in this great film! We are completely overjoyed for this killer cast of #BlackGirlMagic. How are you all feeling?

Image: giphy

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