Boyz n the Hood Director John Singleton dead at age 51
It is with great sadness that ComingSoon.net must report the death of director John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious) due to complications from a stroke. Reports of the 51-year-old filmmaker’s passing arrived on Monday morning but were quickly revealed to be false by the director’s representation. News of his passing has now been confirmed by Deadline after the director’s family elected to take him off life support.
“We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time,” the family said in a statement.
At age 24 Singleton made history with his debut film, 1991’s inner-city drama Boyz n the Hood, for which he became both the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director as well as the first African American nominated in the Oscar category. The film also helped propel the movie careers of Cuba Gooding, Jr., Angela Bassett, Ice Cube and Laurence Fishburne.
He followed this triumph up by directing the Michael Jackson video “Remember the Time” with Eddie Murphy, as well as two more socially-conscious dramas in 1993’s Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and 1995’s Higher Learning starring Jennifer Connelly and Ice Cube. Neither film was recieved well critically, but he bounced back with the 1997 historical racial drama Rosewood and the 2001 hood drama Baby Boy, which was the feature debut of Tyrese Gibson.
Singleton branched out into the action genre with 2000’s Shaft, which introduced Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of Richard Roundtree’s Private Detective (later retconned to his son for the 2019 Shaft). He then helmed the second film in the Fast & Furious franchise, 2 Fast 2 Furious, which introduced Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pierce and Ludacris’ Tej Parker characters, now both fan favorites. Despite a critical drubbing, that sequel grossed $236.3 million worldwide and became the biggest financial success of Singleton’s career.
His next two action films, Four Brothers (2005) and Abduction (2011), proved less successful, and since the latter’s release Singleton had stuck to directing television for the likes of Empire, American Crime Story and Snowfall, the latter of which he created.
Some of Singleton’s unrealized projects included an adaptation of the video game Wheelman with Vin Diesel, the movie adaptation of the TV show The A-Team (later made in 2010) and a Tupac Shakur biopic (later made in 2017 as All Eyez on Me).
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)