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Taraji P. Henson to Play Math Genius in New Film ‘Hidden Figures’

“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson will play mathematics genius Katherine Johnson in “Hidden Figures” for Fox 2000.

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.

“St. Vincent” director Ted Melfi is attached to direct. 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 one of the greatest operations in U.S. history — 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.

Henson recently picked up a Golden Globe Award for best actress in a TV drama series for her work in Fox’s “Empire.”

Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva are overseeing the project for Fox 2000. Fox has already set a Jan. 13 release date for “Hidden Figures.”

Henson is repped by Vincent Cirrincione Associates Management and UTA.

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