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Janelle Monáe joins space race drama Hidden Figures with Kevin Costner

on March 08, 2016, 5:05pm

Photo by​ ​David Brendan Hall

Janelle Monáe is making the jump from future R&B to future film star. She recently finished shooting Moonlight with director Barry Jenkins, and now TheWrap reports she’s been cast as one of the leads in 20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures.

The movie is based on Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, the forthcoming non-fiction book from writer Margot Lee Shetterly. It tells the story of the three African-American woman who were behind the Friendship 7 mission NASA launched in February 1962, an event which made John Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth.

Monáe has been cast as the youngest of the trio, Mary Jackson. She joins Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Top Five) as Katherine Johnson and Octavia Spencer (The Help, Get On Up) as Dorothy Vaughan to complete the brain trust. Kevin Costner is signed on to play the head of the space program.

Hidden Figures will be directed by Ted Melfi (St. Vincent). There’s no release date for the film as of yet, but the fact that the book it’s based on doesn’t come out until September via HarperCollins indicates that the theatrical adaptation shouldn’t be expected before 2017.