Tragic news out of Hollywood today: director John Singleton, director of such films as Boyz N The Hood, Poetic Justice and 2000's Shaft remake, has passed away at the way-too-young age of 51. Singleton had recently experienced a stroke, and had been in a coma on life support at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center until today.
It's always rough when we lose a gifted filmmaker, and doubly so when it's someone as young as Singleton was. The man clearly had so much more to give us, on top of a career already spent being a vital and important voice for the Black experience. He was an honest-to-god trailblazer, writing and directing Boyz when he was just 22 years old (and earning a pair of Oscar nominations in the process). He was also a noteworthy producer (see also: Hustle & Flow) and, by all accounts, one of Hollywood's nicest, most upstanding, generous figures. His influence and the inspiration he provided to an entire generation of up-and-coming filmmakers is impossible to quantify.
The back half of Singleton's career found the director trying his hand at blockbuster entertainment and television, helming both the Fast and The Furious sequel in 2003, the Taylor Lautner actioner Abduction (which I maintain is a really fun watch, assuming you're in the right state of mind; Singleton knew exactly what kind of movie he was making there) and episodes of Empire and American Crime Story.
He will be missed, by an industry that needed his voice, a fanbase that was always looking forward to whatever he might do next, and both everyone here at Birth.Movies.Death.