‘The Hate U Give’ Screenwriter Dies At Age 58, Just One Day Before The Film’s Premiere

Audrey Wells is the screenwriter behind popular films like Under The Tuscan Sun, George of the Jungle, A Dog’s Purpose, and Shall We Dance. She battled cancer for five and a half years, but the disease finally took her life October 4, just one day before her newest project hit theaters. 

The screenwriter’s last project was adapting the popular young adult novel The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, to the big screen. The story follows a teenage girl while she navigates life after witnessing the police shoot her best friend. Issues of race, police brutality, peer pressure, community, and family dynamics all play a major part in the film.

Angie Thomas honored Audrey Wells after her passing, posting this on Instagram:  

Audrey’s husband released a beautiful statement about her, referencing her love, their child, and her sense of wonder: 

Over the last five and a half years, Audrey fought valiantly against her illness and she died surrounded by love. Even during her fight, she never stopped living, working or traveling, and she never lost her joy, wonder and optimism. She was, simply, the most incredible wife and partner imaginable, and she knew always that she was loved by Tatiana, me and the friends who were her chosen family. She said just recently, ‘We’re so lucky, honey. We got to live a love story. Who gets to do that?’ We will carry her forward with us forever — as a mother, as a wife, as an artist and creator, and as a friend. She was irreplaceable.

Twitter had a lot to say about her passing, and the sad timing. 

Angie Thomas wasn’t the only celebrity to honor Audrey after her death. 

Amandla Stenberg, who stars in The Hate U Give, had a chance to speak about Audrey during the Hamptons International Film Festival. There, she talked about Audrey’s commitment to keeping her work honest even if that meant bringing others in. 

That honesty is part of why her work has been so loved and well-received. 

It was a really, really special artistic collaboration between Audrey, me, George [Tillman Jr., the film’s director], and Angie Thomas, who wrote the book. Something that was just so amazing about Audrey is she understood that she couldn’t necessarily understand this experience. She — I’m sorry — brought me in to work with her on the script because she understood that she didn’t have the experience of a black girl and she wanted to make sure that she was as authentic as possible in how she wrote the script, so she brought me and George in.

Clearly Audrey will be remembered with love. Our condolences to her friends and family. 

 H/T: Twitter, People, Instagram, IndieWire