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‘Hidden Figures’ Series in Development at Nat Geo (EXCLUSIVE)

Nat Geo is developing a series inspired by the film “Hidden Figures,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film was itself based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, which told the true story of the black female mathematicians who were instrumental in the early days of the American space program. The 2016 film starred Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Parsons. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including best picture, and grossed over $235 million worldwide.

The TV project, which is in the early stages of development, will be executive produced by Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping of Chernin Entertainment, both of whom executive produced the film. National Geographic will also produce.

Should the project go to series, it would be the latest in Nat Geo’s continuing push into scripted fare. The cable network, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is about to debut the second season of the scripted series “Genius” on April 24. The first season–which was nominated for 10 Emmys–starred Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, while Season 2 will see Antonio Banderas playing Pablo Picasso. Nat Geo also debuted the Iraq War miniseries “The Long Road Home” back in November.

On the development side, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to executive produce a series based on “The Right Stuff,” also about the early days of the space program, that is currently in the works at Nat Geo. Other scripted dramas in development include: “The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution,” adapted from Jonathan Eig’s 2014 book of the same name; “The Hot Zone,” based on the international bestseller by Richard Preston about the origins of the Ebola virus; and a scripted series based on the founding of the National Geographic Network itself, telling the story of  how a National Geographic field producer is put in charge of two production teams shooting Nat Geo’s first TV documentaries in Siberia and Australia in the 1960s.

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