The Hate U Give screenwriter Audrey Wells died following a long battle with cancer Thursday, a day before the film opened in theaters. Wells was 58.
Wells previously penned the scripts for films like The Truth About Cats and Dogs, George of the Jungle, A Dog’s Purpose and Under the Tuscan Sun, which she also directed. An animated film written by Wells, Over the Moon, is currently in production at Netflix.
In a statement to Variety, Wells’ husband Brian Larky said, “Over the last five and 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.”
Wells adapted The Hate U Give from the 2017 novel by Angie Thomas, with Peter Travers calling the film “exceptional” in his Rolling Stone review. The Hate U Give focuses on a young girl (played by Amandla Stenberg) in the aftermath of a police shooting of unarmed black men.