After director John Singleton passed away yesterday, tributes to the trailblazing writer, director and producer have been pouring in from his friends, collaborators and admirers from across Hollywood and the comics industry.
While Singleton is most remembered for being the first African-American to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for his iconic 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, the 51-year-old director leaves behind a varied library of work. In addition to his TV projects like the FX series Snowfall, Singleton wrote and directed 1993's Poetic Justice, 1995's Higher Learning, 2000's Shaft and 2001's Baby Boy. He also directed 1997's Rosewood, 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious and 2005's Four Brothers.
Yesterday, Singleton's friend and Shaft star Samuel L. Jackson remembered Singleton as a trailblazer who was always true to himself. Several prominent actors, including Taraji P. Henson and Ice Cube, who both made their cinematic debuts in Singleton productions and said that he played a pivotal role in their success as they eulogized their friend.
💔💔💔 If it were NOT for #JohnSingleton I would not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame He put me in my first feature film #BabyBoy #RIHJOHNSINGLETON Thank you for this @tahani_tj— Taraji P. Henson (@TherealTaraji) April 30, 2019
I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world. ..Us at Cannes ‘90 pic.twitter.com/CaRKjZtjgB— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 29, 2019
The legendary director Spike Lee, Singleton's friend and contemporary, said that the director's films would live on forever.
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I Will Forever Miss My Brother John Singleton. We Met While He Was A Film Student At USC. Over Many Years People Have Told Me “I’m Going To Be A Filmmaker”, When John Said That To Me The 1st Time We Met, I Believed Him Right Away. It Was No Surprise. With His Passion, His Heart, The Way He Talked About His Love For Cinema And Black Folks I Could See John Would Make It Happen, And He Did. From Day One, We Have Remained Close Over The Decades, Cheering Each Other On In This Industry That Is Not Set Up For Us To Win. John Singleton’s Films Will Live On Forever. Blessings And Prayers For His Family. May John Rest In Power. Amen.
Several prominent younger directors, including Edgar Wright and Jordan Peele, called Singleton and his body of work inspirational and truly groundbreaking.
This is way too sad. The word 'groundbreaker' is thrown around too easily, but it applied to John Singleton, an inspirational, influential film-maker. While he had many accomplishments in TV and film, you felt he had still more surprises up his sleeve. 51 is far too young to go. https://t.co/pyxb11seS7— edgarwright (@edgarwright) April 29, 2019
RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 29, 2019
As filmmaker and former Netflix Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coke recalled, Singleton was also "a Jedi level geek," In the 1990s, Singleton even pitched a Wesley Snipes-starring Black Panther movie that ultimately never happened. Director a fellow self-avowed comic book fan Kevin Smith also reminisced about talking about comics with Singleton.
John Singleton was a Jedi level geek. The only thing more fun than seeing a Marvel or Star Wars movie was arguing with him about it: shot for shot. Line for line. Seeing Endgane with him would have been a blast. That gleam in his eye. That cackle. He would have loved it.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) April 29, 2019
Farewell my filmmaking friend! Your Boyz story and your laser disc commentary inspired me back before I shot my first film. You made me believe I might be able to be like you: heard. Thank you for leading, John. Wish we had one last chance to talk comics again... #JohnSingleton pic.twitter.com/jZvCxNIIsw— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) April 29, 2019
Several comic book icons, including Image Comics co-founders Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane discussed their shared love of comics and recalled the director's early support for their creator-owned comic book publisher.
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* Sad news of the passing of director JOHN SINGLETON today. He was a kind man and a big comicbook fan who encouraged us at the start of Image Comics back in 1992. Had the chance to see him from time to time. At the age of 51 he has left us far, far too early. TODD #johnsingleton #boyzinthehood #director #greatman
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I met & bonded with John Singleton through comic books. He came to every signing that we had back in the day, no matter where in Southern California, spanning decades. He invited me and my peers to his film sets over the years where we hung out and watched him perform his cinematic craft. He was so ridiculously talented, a visionary director. John was a sweet and sincere gentleman. So generous. The news that he suffered a stroke staggered me last week, I prayed as so many of you did that he would heal and recover. My heart breaks that he is no longer with us. Rest In Peace John and thank you. #boyzinthehood #higherlearning #shaft #fastandfurious
Singleton is survived by his parents and his seven children. He was 51 years old.