One of John Singleton’s last projects was the FX drama series Snowfall, which he co-created, directed and executive produced.
The series, about the 1980s crack epidemic in Los Angeles, is in production on its third season. The drama had remained in production while Singleton was hospitalized following his April 17 stroke. Filming also has continued today when news came that Singleton had been taken off life support and died a few hours later.
Snowfall EP John Singleton and star Damson Idris
“Everybody is sad but everybody also is moving forward because that’s what John would’ve wanted,” Snowfall executive producer Trevor Engelson said.
Fittingly, the series was filming a very somber and dramatic scene today.
“It felt like the actors were hearing what John would’ve said, ‘use that real life emotion in your performance,’” Engelson said.
John Singleton Dies: Trailblazing 'Boyz N The Hood' Filmmaker Was 51
Singleton was a hands-on executive producer. “He was in the writers room, he was on set, he put his stamp on everything,” Engelson said.
That included directing every Snowfall season finale. He did it in Season 1 and Season 2 and had been scheduled to also helm the upcoming Season 3 closer until a long-time passion project of his on the feature side, an Emmett Till movie starring Taraji P. Henson and produced by Steven Spielberg, recently came together.
Singleton, who was to direct the film, suggested Sunu Gonera, who had helmed multiple episodes of Snowfall, to take over his directing duties for finale. The movie ultimately had to be pushed to work more on the budget. Instead of reclaiming his finale directing gig, Singleton wanted Gonera to get his shot.
Snowfall Season 3 remains on track for a summer premiere.
Engelsom, who was Singleton’s manager, paid tribute to the filmmaker on social media earlier today.
The world lost a true legend today. My client and friend John Singleton passed away from a stroke. I’ve been a Singleton fan since I was in high school—I even had a POETIC JUSTICE poster on my wall. Years ago, John took a chance on me to be his manager, in only a way John could do, he went from being a client, to a mentor and a friend in a matter of days. John was strong willed and determined—he didn’t take shit from anyone, for better or worse, and he did it with a smile! He was a great father and son, a ground breaking, legendary filmmaker, a mentor to hundreds, and someone I will forever be grateful to call a real influence on my life. This man is a true inspiration, leading by example that the impossible can be done, and it can be done on your own terms. May we all be so lucky to pack in as much life as this man has in his 51 years…Legend down, but we will make sure his legacy will continue forever. Much love and respect!
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