By Derek Lawrence
October 05, 2018 at 07:07 PM EDT
Credit: Courtesy UTA

Screenwriter Audrey Wells has died at the age of 58, one day before her latest film’s release.

Wells, the co-writer of the critically-acclaimed The Hate U Give, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer, EW has confirmed.

“Over the last five and half years, Audrey fought valiantly against her illness, and she died surrounded by love,” Wells’ husband Brian Larky said in a statement. “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 [her daugther] Tatiana, me, and the friends who were her chosen family.

“She said just 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.”

Added David Kramer, the co-president at Wells’ agency UTA: “Audrey was a beloved client and, far more importantly, a wonderful friend. It was impossible not to fall in love with her and the passion that brought her stories to life. The strong, independent female characters she shaped resonate today more than ever and will be a part of her legacy always. We will miss her amazing, spirit, creativity and the love she gave us. She was truly special.”

Wells’ writing career includes a diverse roster of films, ranging from rom-coms and family films to the powerful adaptation of The Hate U Give. Among her other credits are George of the Jungle, The Kid, The Game Plan, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, and Under the Tuscan Sun, which she also directed.