×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Taraji P. Henson Is a Math Genius in ‘Hidden Figures’ First Trailer

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae break the glass ceiling — among other barriers — in the first trailer for the NASA drama “Hidden Figures,” which debuted Sunday night during the Rio Olympics.

The teaser opens with Henson’s Katherine Johnson character as a young girl, filling up a classroom blackboard with mathematical formulas, prompting her teacher to tell her parents, “I’ve never seen a mind like your daughter has.”

In addition to Henson, Spencer portrays Dorothy Vaughan and Monae plays Mary Jackson as a trio of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit — a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race.

The trailer also features Kevin Costner’s frustrated NASA exec lamenting, “I need a mathematician who can see beyond numbers.”

In addition to institutional obstacles, the women are also shown tackling troubles at home as they spend extended time away from their families. “Every time we have a chance to move ahead, they move the finish line,” Henson’s character declares.

Johnson, who worked at NASA from 1952 to 1979, was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom last year. The film is directed by Ted Melfi from a screenplay co-written with Allison Schroeder, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s upcoming non-fiction book — “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”

Popular on Variety

Chernin Entertainment is producing with Donna Gigliotti via Levantine Films, and Melfi. The film, which also stars Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons, opens on Jan. 13.

More Film

  • Imogen Poots

    'Black Christmas' Star Imogen Poots on Why Male Horror Fans Should See Slasher Remake

    “Black Christmas” is the second remake of the 1974 slasher classic, which centers on a group of sorority sisters stalked by an unknown murderer. While the original had the female protagonists (SPOILER) offed, in this one, the women fight back. “It’s been called a re-imagining of the original, and I think, in ways that the [...]

  • Imogen Poots as Riley in "Black

    'Black Christmas': Film Review

    “Black Christmas,” a low-budget Canadian horror movie released in 1974, was a slasher thriller with a difference: It was the very first one! Okay, there were more than a few precedents, from “Psycho” (the great-granddaddy of the genre) to “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to Mario Bava’s “A [...]

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. Creators and

    'Game of Thrones' Creators to Develop H.P. Lovecraft Movie at Warner Bros.

    Following their exit from the “Star Wars” universe, “Game of Thrones” co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their replacement pic, signing on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel “Lovecraft” for Warner Bros. It is unknown if they will also direct the project, but they’ve already set Phil Hay and [...]

  • Little Women Greta Gerwig BTS

    Greta Gerwig and 'Little Women' Crew Mix Modern and Classical

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Sony’s “Little Women,” a new look at Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 19th-century classic. Eager to pay tribute to her artisan colleagues, Gerwig says, “It was a joy for me to work with all these people. It’s a movie that’s impossible to create without world-class artists. They killed themselves for me!” [...]

  • Honey Boy

    Shia LaBeouf's 'Honey Boy' Adds Unusual Twist to Oscar's History With Kids

    Hollywood has made many terrific films about childhood, and many about filmmaking. Amazon’s “Honey Boy,” which opened Nov. 8, combines the two: A movie with a child’s POV of the industry. That unique angle could be a real benefit during awards season, and the film’s backstory — with Shia LaBeouf as the main attraction — will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content