A subject that’s been widely speculated for some time now has finally become official. 20th Century Fox has confirmed that their upcoming historical drama Hidden Figures will be granted a 2016 Oscar-qualifying run. The film, which stars Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Janelle Monae (Moonlight and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), centers around the three brilliant African-American mathematicians who helped put astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962. This previously untold story has been building hype for months now of the strengths of its illustrious ensemble cast as well as the rousing trailer which debuted a few months back.
It’s been widely speculated that Fox would eventually try to put Hidden Figures into the awards conversation. Last month, the film launched a major marketing push at the Toronto Film Festival, where clips were shown and a Q&A session with the cast and filmmakers took place. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) made the suggestion back then that the film was still “a work in progress” but clearly the movie was able to get a thrust of momentum.
Hidden Figures was adapted to the screen by Allison Schroeder and Melfi, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The ensemble cast includes Kevin Costner (Draft Day), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Glenn Powell (Everybody Wants Some!!). The film becomes the latest to join the awards fray following other late entries like Ben Affleck’s gangster flick Live By Night and The Comedian starring Robert De Niro.
Hidden Figures will open in theaters on Christmas Day, starting with limited engagements followed by a national expansion on January 13, 2017.