Octavia Spencer Cast as NASA's Mathematician in 'Hidden Figures'

The Oscar winner will be joining Taraji P. Henson as one of the three African-American women who help put an American in space.

AceShowbiz - %cOctavia Spencer% will star opposite %cTaraji P. Henson% in Fox 2000's aerospace drama "Hidden Figures". The Oscar-winning actress is starring as a mathematician who help put an American in space.

The film is based on Margot Lee Shetterly's book, "Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race". Per Variety, Katherine Johnson is a brilliant African-American mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history - the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return.

Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962 and became the first American to orbit the Earth. The three women crossed all gender, race and professional lines while embarking on the mission.

Johnson will be played by Henson while one of the other two will be portrayed by Spencer. Allison Schroeder adapted the book for the screenplay while "St. Vincent" helmer Ted Melfi is directing. Donna Gigliotti of "Silver Linings Playbook" is producing. Fox is planning to release the film on January 13 next year to coincide with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.

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