“It just felt right from the beginning,” reveals “Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae as three African-American mathematicians and engineers who helped launch the first successful space missions while fighting against segregation was right up her ally. Upon first receiving Margot Lee Shetterly‘s book from the producers, she recalls, “I was like, I know this world, I’ve played on the Mercury capsule as a kid, please let me write this. And they said, ‘yes.'”” screenwriter Allison Schroeder during our recent webcam chat (watch above). “I’d grown up at NASA, and had interned at NASA, and my whole family had a background there,” so this Fox 2000 release starring
She adds, “If I hadn’t had that inside information, trying to come into NASA and create that world would have been very difficult.” But with her wealth of knowledge, from the workings of the original mission control to the complex mathematics necessary to launch a man into space, “there was just a foundation to go upon.” She also, “knew that the culture at NASA was very inclusive, and that there was this common goal that you felt, all the way from the cook in the cafeteria to the person that was working on the payload bay. Everybody felt apart of the mission, and that was one of the central themes of this movie.”
Schroeder recently reaped BAFTA and WGA nominations for her work alongside co-writer and director Theodore Melfi. The film has had a strong showing as of late, picking up bids at the PGA for Best Picture and at SAG for Best Film Ensemble and Best Supporting Actress (Spencer). With it’s box office success to go along with the accolades, is Schroeder on the way to her first Oscar nom?
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Hidden Figures” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.