Ted Melfi is directing “Hidden Figures,” the true story of the African-American female mathematicians at NASA who provided the calculations for the space program during the early 1960s.
Variety reported on Feb. 10 that “Empire” star Henson would play mathematics genius Katherine Johnson in “Hidden Figures.” The studio has been developing the adaptation of the Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” published by HarperCollins.
Producers are Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping through Chernin Entertainment; Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films; and Melfi.
The story centers on Johnson, a brilliant African-American mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served as the brains behind the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return. The three women crossed all gender, race and professional lines while embarking on the mission.
Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962 and became the first American to orbit the Earth. Costner will play the head of the space program.
Dunst stars in Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special” for Warner Bros., which opens March 18. She’s repped by UTA and Management 360. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.