Pharrell Williams Boards ‘Hidden Figures’ to Produce, Write Music


Hidden Figures” is shaping up to be a film to look out for. Pharrell Williams has signed on to the film as producer, and will also create and write original songs and oversee musical elements of the film and its soundtrack.

In addition, Kirsten Dunst (“Midnight Special”), Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Janelle Monáe (“Friends with Benefits”) and Glen Powell (“Everybody Wants Some!!”) have all been added to the cast. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner were previously announced to star in the film.

“Hidden Figures” follows Katherine Johnson (Henson), a brilliant African-American mathematician who was part of the brain power behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Powell) into orbit. Two other women, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served with Johnson on the mission, which was a resounding success.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth and return safely.

Spencer, known for her roles in “The Help” (for which she won Best Supporting Actress) and “Being John Malkovich,” will portray one of the other mathematicians, but it’s not confirmed which woman she will play. Variety reports that Costner will play the role of the head of the space program.

The film will be based off of the Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race.” The book is set to be published in September of this year by HarperCollins.

Marisa Paiva and Elizabeth Gabler are overseeing for Fox 2000. Ted Melfi, the director of “St. Vincent,” is on board to direct the film. Allison Schroeder is adapting the screenplay.

Williams was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song for his song “Happy” from the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack. The song ultimately lost out to the “Frozen” hit “Let It Go.”

“Hidden Figures” is currently slated for a Jan. 13, 2017 release.