Hidden Figures is an upcoming 2016 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Theodore Melfi from a screenplay co-written with Allison Schroeder. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about it!
1.It is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.
2. The film recounts the story of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who, while working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, helped NASA catch up in the Space Race.
3. Using their calculations, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to make a complete orbit of the Earth.
4. On July 9, 2015, it was announced that producer Donna Gigliotti acquired Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book Hidden Figures about a group of black female mathematicians who helped NASA win the Space Race by providing mathematical computations for the launch of John Glenn and his fellow astronauts into space.
5. Allison Schroeder wrote the script, which was developed by Gigliotti through Levantine Films, and which also would produce the film along with Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment.
6. Fox 2000 Pictures acquired the film rights, while Theodore Melfi signed on to direct it.
7. Since the film’s development was announced, various actresses were considered to play the black female roles, including Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Taraji P. Henson.
8. On February 10, 2016, Fox hired Henson to play the lead role of mathematician Katherine Johnson, while producers on the film would be Chernin and Jenno Topping, along with Gigliotti and Melfi.
9. In April 2016, Pharrell Williams came on board as a producer on the film.
10. He also would write original songs and would handle music department and soundtrack of the film.
11. Principal photography on the film began in early March 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
12. Filming also took place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
13. The film is scheduled for a limited release on December 25, 2016, before a wide opening release on January 6, 2017.
14. The film reunites Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner, who previously appeared together in Black or White (2014).
15. Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monae also appear in the 2016 film Moonlight.
16. The first black computers didn’t set foot at Langley until the 1940s. Though the pressing needs of war were great, racial discrimination remained strong and few jobs existed for African-Americans, regardless of gender. That
17. hat was until 1941 when A. Philip Randolph, pioneering civil rights activist, proposed a march on Washington, D.C., to draw attention to the continued injustices of racial discrimination. With the threat of 100,000 people swarming to the Capitol, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, preventing racial discrimination in hiring for federal and war-related work. This order also cleared the way for the black computers, slide rule in hand, to make their way into NACA history.
18. Exactly how many women computers worked at NACA (and later NASA) over the years is still unknown. One 1992 study estimated the total topped several hundred but other estimates, including Shetterly’s own intuition, says that number is in the thousands.
19. The book and movie don’t mark the end of Shetterly’s work She continues to collect these names, hoping to eventually make the list available online. She hopes to find the many names that have been sifted out over the years and document their respective life’s work
20. The few West Computers whose names have been remembered, have become nearly mythical figures—a side-effect of the few African-American names celebrated in mainstream history, Shetterly argues.
21. She hopes her work pays tribute to these women by bringing details of their life’s work to light. “Not just mythology but the actual facts,” she says. “Because the facts are truly spectacular.