“Hidden Figures” has nabbed another big name. Variety confirmed today that Academy Award winner Kevin Costner will join Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the astronaut drama.
Costner has been cast as the head of the space program, according to Variety.
“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 into orbit. Two other women, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served with Johnson on the mission, which was a resounding success. As Variety film reporter Justin Kroll puts it, “the three women crossed all gender, race and professional lines while embarking on the mission.”
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 another one of the trio, but it’s not confirmed which woman she will play.
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.” Marisa Paiva and Elizabeth Gabler are overseeing for Fox 2000. Ted Melfi, the director of “St. Vincent,” is on board to direct the film. The book is set to be published in September of this year by HarperCollins.
Spencer, who also worked on “Black or White” with Costner, will next be seen reprising her role in “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.” She will also play God in “The Shack,” which will be released later this year. She also just finished up filming “Gifted” alongside Chris Evans.
Henson recently picked up her first Golden Globe for her role in the smash hit show, “Empire.”
Costner is appearing next alongside Tommy Lee Jones in “Criminal.”
“Hidden Figures” is currently slated for a 2017 release.