The 2016 movie Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Octavia Spencer, is in the process of being adapted to a musical stage play by Disney.
What We Know:
- Disney Theatrical Productions, the largest Broadway production company, is working on a musical adaptation of Hidden Figures. With film critic, Elvis Mitchell, serving as a creative consultant for the project and plans to assemble a creative team of Black artists, no official production crew, cast, or debut date has been reported as of yet.
- The three time Oscar-nominated movie, directed by Theodore Melfi, is based on a book of the same name written by Margot Lee Shetterly. They both tell the untold story of the amazing Black women that served as mathematicians for NASA during the orbital space launch of astronaut John Glenn – a historic point for the country and the world. Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) are only some of the Black historic figures that have made notable contributions with little recognition.
- The idea of the adaptation was first reported to the public by Forbes’ Simon Thompson, who discussed the possibility with the stars of the film during an interview in February of 2017. In the interview, leading actress, Janelle Monáe, leaked that Allison Schroeder, the script-writer for the film, had mentioned the possibility of a Broadway adaptation.
- The production has actually been in the works for quite some time, two years to be exact. It has been kept quiet only until recently when it was briefly mentioned on Wednesday in a New York Times article about Black representation on Broadway.
- The June announcement from the Broadway League states that Broadway performances in New York City will remain suspended through the rest of the year due to the current pandemic. Performances are expected to return through a series of rolling dates starting early 2021.
- Disney’s most recent July addition to their streaming service, Disney+, included the critically acclaimed musical Hamilton. This poses the question: might the production possibly make its debut on Disney+ in lieu of a Broadway stage? No production terms have come out yet, Disney has only confirmed the project’s latency.
- With the news of the musical production, fans of Janelle Monáe and her performance as Mary Jackson have hopes that she will be casted to fulfill the role again on the stage. If Monáe were to take on an encore of her film role, the singer and actress could possibly be set on an EGOT path.
Once again, Disney has opened our imaginations to something new and exciting. We can’t wait to see what they have in store.