Before the Obama administration officially leaves the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama will reportedly host the cast and director of Fox 2000’s Hidden Figures at a White House screening on Thursday.
The First Lady, who has already seen the film, will deliver remarks during the event, according to the White House official schedule. It’s not clear whether President Barack Obama will be in attendance, but the little-known story of three African-American women who played a key role in putting man into space during the early days of NASA is of keen interest to the outgoing president and his wife.
Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, a physicist and mathematician who came up with the calculations needed for numerous space flights, from Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle missions. The period film, focusing on the late John Glenn’s historic 1962 orbit of the earth, also details the pioneering roles played by Johnson’s NASA colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Mona), even though all three had to endure a segregated workplace and society.
Spencer, Henson, Monae and co-star Kevin Costner will be in attendance at the screening, along with Melfi, Pharrell Williams and top executives from Fox and Chernin Entertainment, who partnered on the film adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s book of the same name. Williams wrote original songs for the movie and composed the score with Hans Zimmer
Johnson, now 97, will also be in attendance. A year ago, President Obama bestowed Johnson with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Hidden Figures opens in select theaters on Dec. 25 before opening nationwide on Jan. 6