Weekend Science Movie News: Bustin’ Cells And Figures

September 5 note – I’ve received feedback that I have mischaracterized the Hidden Figures book on which the film is based.  While the film is a fictionalized account, the book (out September 6) is a non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Original Post

This weekend the new Ghostbusters films premieres in the United States.  While the 1984 edition and its sequel focus on a group of parapsychologists, the new film includes an engineer and biologist among its characters.  One of the actors did a little science reading to prepare; and yes, a ghost movie had science advisers, partly to help make the lab look plausible.

The film version of The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks is still early in development, but we know have an actor attached to another lead role.  Rose Byrne will play journalist (and author of the book) Rebecca Skloot in the film, joining Oprah Winfrey.  Winfrey plays Deborah Lacks, and has been a driving force in making the film version.  Members of the Lacks’ family have been involved as consultants.

Hidden Figures, another film based on a science book (this one coming out later in 2016), recently completed shooting and is slated for a January 2017 release.  The film follows three black women who worked at NASA as computers, making important calculations in the early years of the American space program.  Scenes from the film were shown at the Essence Festival earlier this month, and two of the film’s actors, Janelle Monae and Aldis Hodge, were there to talk about the film.


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