Audrey Wells, screenwriter for The Hate U Give, dies one day before film’s release

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 2: Director Audrey Wells attends the 12th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel on December 2, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. Honorees from The Hollywood Reporter's 2003 Power 100 list and top executives from the motion picture, TV, music and other entertainment industries attended the event. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

As buzz rises over “The Hate U Give,” the movie channeling Ferguson and other violent episodes of alleged police misconduct, the film world is mourning the death of the movie’s screenwriter.

Audrey Wells died Thursday at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer. Her passing came one day before the limited release of the film starring Amandla Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, and Regina Hall.

Her husband Brian Wells released a statement.

“Over the last five and a half years, Audrey fought valiantly against her illness and she died surrounded by love,” Wells wrote. “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.”

The statement continued, “She just said 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” is about a teen who witnesses a good friend being shot dead by the police during a traffic stop. Early buzz has been glowing about the tragic but also an exhilarating film based on the young adult novel by Angie Thomas.

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The author took to Instagram to say kind words about the woman who helped bring “The Hate U Give” to the big screen.

“It was a joy to work with Audrey, and I’m forever grateful for what she gave us with ‘The Hate U Give.’ She will be truly missed.”

The film’s Twitter account expressed sadness over Wells’ passing.

“We are simply heartbroken,” read the post by @THeHateUGive. “Audrey’s voice was a voice of empowerment and courage, and her words will live on through the strong, determined female characters she brought to life. Our thoughts are with all of Audrey’s family and friends at this difficult time.”