Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe star in new film about racial and gender equality
The ladies of Hidden Figures are stepping into the light.
A new trailer for the upcoming drama dropped Wednesday morning online, giving audiences an extended peek at Taraji P. Henson’s lead performance in 1960s-set film, one that’s been drumming up serious Oscar buzz for its cast a stellar cast — namely Henson, Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer, and Grammy-nominee Janelle Monáe.
The film follows the real-life story of Katherine G. Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Monáe), a trio of brilliant African-American mathmeticians working at NASA, battling racism and sexism amid a still-segregated nation. Together, they worked on one of the largest operations in history, Project Mercury, during the international Space Race, ultimately helping to launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit. For her work with NASA, Johnson ultimately received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama on Nov. 16, 2015.
Though the film touches on heavy subjects and sees its central characters struggling for equality in the workplace as their peers question their qualifications (“Just make that pencil move as fast as your mind does,” Spencer says when self-doubt plagues Henson’s character), the new trailer finds humor in unexpected places.
“How could you be ogling these white men?” Henson asks Monáe, shortly after their characters are introduced to Glenn (Glen Powell). She responds: “This is equal rights. I have the right to see fine in every color.”
Allison Schroeder and director Theodore Melfi adapted the Hidden Figures screenplay from the nonfiction book of the same name, written by Margot Lee Shatterly. Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali, and Jim Parsons round out the film’s supporting cast, while Pharrell Williams composed original recordings for the film’s soundtrack.
Hidden Figures opens Dec. 25 in limited release. It expands nationwide on Jan. 6, 2017. Watch the film’s new trailer above.