According to her representatives at UTA, The Hate U Give screenwriter Audrey Wells passed away Thursday following a “long and private battle with cancer.” The writer and director was 58 at the time of her death. In addition to the upcoming police shooting drama, based on the best-selling Angie Thomas YA book of the same name, Wells wrote or co-wrote a number of successful films, including 1996’s The Truth About Cats & Dogs, 1997’s George of the Jungle, 2003’s Under the Tuscan Sun (which she also directed), and 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, among others.
“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,” Wells’s husband Brian Larky said in a statement. “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.” The Hate U Give, which premieres tonight in Atlanta and is opening in select cities, debuts nationwide on October 19.