Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in "Hidden Figures"

Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”

*The social media reaction to Fox 2000’s first trailer for “Hidden Figures” was so strong after its debut during the Olympics that the studio and its production company Chernin Entertainment are already thinking about giving it an awards season push.

The Ted Melfi-directed movie stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the real life NASA mathematicians who were instrumental in launching astronaut John Glenn into outer space in 1962.


Via Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr.:

Fox is finalizing plans to bring scenes of the movie to the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10, where tastemakers will get a preview, and an outdoor performance by Pharrell Williams, who composed the music with Hans Zimmer, and who is also a producer of the film.

Sources tell Deadline that Williams (whose last Hollywood foray was the Oscar-nominated Despicable Me 2 theme “Happy”) will likely pack the stage with pals for a star-studded event in Canada. The footage presentation will be followed by a Q&A with cast and filmmakers.

In addition, I’ve heard that Fox is working on plans to qualify Hidden Figures for the Academy Awards, likely with a two-city showing in late December. The film opens wide January 13, Martin Luther King weekend. Hidden Figures won’t be ready to be shown in its entirety in Toronto, but word is it might premiere at AFI. The studio said none of what I heard has been set.

While sister studio Fox Searchlight is recalibrating its expected Oscar push on The Birth of A Nation after the controversy involving the 17-year rape trial of director-star Nate Parker and co-story writer Jean Celestin (and the subsequent suicide of their accuser), Hidden Figures certainly seems like the kind that Oscar voters love with its historical breadth and aspirational storyline, so the qualifying run makes sense. Based on the Margot Lee Shetterly book, “Hidden Figures” tells the story of the black female numbers crunchers who were the unsung heroes behind the early NASA space launches.

Watch the trailer below: