Here’s the First Trailer for ‘Hidden Figures’ (with Some Expectation Checks)


There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the new historical drama Hidden Figures. It stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe; it’s got a soundtrack of new (but decidedly period-sounding) music by Pharrell Williams; and most importantly, it tells the sadly obscure story of three African-American NASA mathematicians whose work was a vital component of John Glenn’s orbit launch in 1962. And there’s a trailer, and it looks pretty good:

Two things to keep in mind, however:

1) Hidden Figures will hit theaters on January 13, 2017. That’s a very strange release date for a historical drama about an important subject – normally, such a film might go into wide release in January, following a December Oscar-qualifying run in, at the very least, New York and Los Angeles. And in fact, earlier this summer, the New York Times reported its makers were “already anticipating a year-end release to qualify for Oscar consideration.” So between then and now, somebody at distributor 20th Century Fox got a look at the final product, and decided it wasn’t an awards-season release. Make of that what you will.

2) Vulture notes that earlier this summer, Monáe said of the film: “It is so important, that we as women, African-American women, tell our stories.” It is so important! So is it in poor taste to note that Hidden Figures is co-written and directed by one Theodore Melfi, the white male director of St. Vincent?

Anyway. Hidden Figures is out in January.