The 2016 Olympics may be a launching pad to glory for athletes and films.
After Fox dropped the first trailer for Hidden Figures in the middle of primetime coverage of the Rio games last week, an overwhelmingly positive reaction on social media inspired the studio to pursue a potential Oscar run.
While the original plan was to release the film in January and let the cards fall where they may, some parts of the film will now travel to The Great White North long before winter arrives. On September 10, festivalgoers at September’s Toronto Film Festival will be treated to some sneak peak footage and a Q&A with the cast.
That cast includes Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson and Oscar winners Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner. Henson and Spencer play two of the NASA number crunchers who history has long forgotten, despite their importance in the early days of space missions. Writer-director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) brings Margo Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book to the big screen with the help of co-writer Allison Schroeder, and to me, Oscar gold doesn’t seem too far out of sight.
True stories of triumph over adversity always play well with the Oscar crowd, and it helps that the film brings several past winners and nominees to the table. However, while an appearance at Toronto is a good start, the film will have to win over critics and audiences if it hopes to win on Oscar night.
Luckily, it looks like Fox is getting a head start: co-producers and co-composer Pharrell Williams will also travel to Toronto, though he’s not set to be there for a Q&A. According to Deadline, he’ll perform after the movie’s sneak peek, and he’s bringing some friends, too.
That leaves me with just one question: how much are tickets to Toronto?