Magazine article Variety

Hidden Figures

Magazine article Variety

Hidden Figures

Article excerpt

HIDDEN FIGURES

Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Allison Schroeder, Donna Gigliotti, Elizabeth Gabler

MONTHS BEFORE it's due out in theaters, "Hidden Figures" is already generating awards-season buzz - not only for its content, but also for the dedicated women who have so passionately shepherded the film from page to screen.

Directed by Theodore Melfi and co-written by Allison Schroeder, the period drama recounts the underreported story of a team of African-American women - played by Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monáe - who worked for NASA during the early 1960s providing the mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space mission.

"I optioned 55 pages of [Margot Lee Shetterly's] book proposal - that's all that I had," says "Hidden Figures" producer Donna Gigliotti. "It was just an outline that Margot had written and had just been bought by Dutton. And UTA has this proposal that went out to everybody. And I said to myself, 'This is a story that I have not heard before. And how have I not heard about this before?' And I thought, 'I need to talk to this woman who's writing this book, because this will definitely be a movie and I will definitely get this movie made. …

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