Tag: Jenno Topping

Pharrell Williams Joins Fox 2000’s “Hidden Figures” Starring Taraji P. Henson as Producer, Will Write Music

Pharrell Williams (photo via deadline.com)
Pharrell Williams (photo via deadline.com)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com*

Pharrell Williams will produce Taraji P. Henson’s mathematics drama “Hidden Figures” and write original songs for the soundtrack.

Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Ted Melfi are also producing, and Melfi is directing. Williams will oversee all musical elements for the motion picture and its soundtrack.

Henson stars along with Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a trio of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit — a key milestone in the space race against the Soviet Union to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

“After my producing partner Mimi Valdés and I heard about this project, we basically begged the producers and studio to allow us to participate,” Williams said. “This is an extraordinary story about black women with genius mathematical minds who contributed to American history. It takes place in Virginia, my home state, and at NASA, a place I’ve been obsessed with since childhood.”

Fox will release “Hidden Figures” on Jan. 13. Also starring are Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Kevin Costner. The screenplay is by Alison Schroeder, Melfi and Lori Lakin Hutcherson.

Williams has won 10 Grammy Awards. He’s also known for his musical contributions to the “Despicable Me” films as well as his judging stint on NBC’s “The Voice.”

*(GBN disclosure from Editor-in-Chief Lori Lakin Hutcherson:  the above is an article in which I am mentioned, as I am primarily a writer in television and film, and was fortunate enough to work on “Hidden Figures.” It may be a conflict of interest to have published this, but so be it – it’s an awesome film and Good Black News regardless!)

Taraji P. Henson to Star as Math Genius Katherine Johnson in New Film “Hidden Figures”

Taraji P. Henson (photo via zap2it.com)
Taraji P. Henson (photo via zap2it.com)

article by Dan McNary via Variety.com

“Empire” star and Golden Globes award winner Taraji P. Henson will play mathematics genius Katherine Johnson in “Hidden Figures” for Fox 2000.

The studio has been developing the adaptation of the Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” to published by this fall by HarperCollins.

The story centers on Johnson, 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. The three women crossed all gender, race and professional lines while embarking on the mission.

Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962 and became the first American to orbit the Earth.  Johnson was recently honored by Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“St. Vincent” director Ted Melfi is attached to direct. Producers are Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping through Chernin Entertainment; Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films; and Melfi.

Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva are overseeing the project for Fox 2000. Fox has already set a January 13, 2017 release date for “Hidden Figures.”