Janelle Monáe has landed third lead role in the upcoming film, Hidden Figures, alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer.
The film centers around a little known group of black women scientists and master mathematicians who helped NASA win the space race was in development. The group included Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley. The women worked in a segregated unit from the 1940’s to the 1960’s and played an instrumental part in the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return. Johnson will be the main character in the upcoming production.
Henson will play Katherine Johnson, Spencer will play Dorothy Vaughan, and Monáe will play the youngest member of the group, Mary Jackson.
Last summer, Spencer and Henson, in addition to Viola Davis and Oprah, were among some of the names being floated to star in the film.
Hidden Figures marks Monáe’s second major film role and her first studio movie role. Last fall, it was announced that she had snagged a major role in Moonlight, a coming-age-film about a young man growing up in 80’s Miami.
“Hidden Figures” is based on the soon to be released Margot Lee Shetterly book, titled Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race.
A January 13, 2017 release date has already been set for the project.