No surprise, really. I think we all fully expected that this would happen.
Originally scheduled for a January 13, 2017 release, Fox has moved up the opening date for “Hidden Figures” to December 25, giving it an initial limited theatrical release (we assume an Oscar-qualifying run), before a January 6, 2017 nationwide roll-out. So we can officially add the film to our 2017 Oscar potentials (although it’s already on my list).
Given all the marketing materials we’ve seen thus far for the film, presenting it as a relatively innocuous, uplifting family dramedy, a release date during the holidays makes sense.
December is a crowded month; there’s also Will Smith’s “Collateral Beauty,” Denzel Washington’s “Fences,” Halle Berry’s “Kidnap,” and the next film in the “Star Wars” franchise, which is sure to occupy lots of theaters and dominate at the box office, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” These are all films opening wide. We can now add “Hidden Figures” into the mix (although a limited release to start)..
Director Ted Melfi’s “Hidden Figures,” the much-anticipated feature film adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s book of the same name (published last month – order a copy here), tells the untold true story of some of the African American women mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era.
At the center of Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures” are Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley, who all worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era, often referred to as “the colored computers.”
Shetterly, whose father was one of the first African American engineers employed by NASA, is a journalist.
Starring in the film are Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, as the unsung scientists.
They are joined in supporting roles by Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst and Glen Powell.
The adaptation was developed by producer Donna Gigliotti (producer of Oscar-caliber fare like “Shakespeare In Love” and “Silver Linings Playbook”), with Allison Schroeder penning the screenplay adaptation.
Fox showcased the film at the Toronto Film Festival last month – a notable awards season festival stop for studios with potential contenders – which led to further speculation that the studio was indeed planning an Oscar-qualifying campaign for the film.
Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures” tells the untold true story of the African American women mathematicians – Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley – who worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era. Their stories unfold through the personal accounts of 4 specific women that then-NASA staffers referred to as “the colored computers.” Shetterly, whose father was one of the first African American engineers employed by NASA, is a journalist.
Check out the trailer for the film below, followed by a few stills.