In addition to doing Boyz n the Hood and many other iconic movies, Singleton also had some notable ties within the TV world — he was a director on such shows as Billions and Empire, and he also just so happened to be a director/executive producer on FX’s Snowfall. From its very foundation, he was one of the show’s most-important voices.
As the news of Singleton’s death reverberated, the cast was apparently in the process of doing some rather emotional work on the upcoming season 3 — tackling an emotional, somber scene. Per a report from Deadline, production did continue on the show, and executive producer Trevor Engelson had the following to say about the work:
“Everybody is sad but everybody also is moving forward because that’s what John would’ve wanted … It felt like the actors were hearing what John would’ve said, ‘Use that real-life emotion in your performance.’”
While executive producers on shows are not always extremely hands-on (sometimes, they drift away following the first season), Engelson noted that Singleton was extremely hands-on throughout the entire production, whether it be in the writers’ room or on set. In Trevor’s words, “he put his stamp on everything.”
We do think that Singleton wanted the story of Snowfall to be emotional and authentic, as it looks to capture a world (the cocaine trade in Los Angeles from decades back) that has not received much in the way of a proper focus previously. Singleton was originally set to direct the season 3 finale, but he stepped back after a movie project (an Emmett Till movie starring Taraji P. Henson, who he worked with on Empire) started to come together. When the scheduled for the movie changed, he still allowed Sunu Gonera to keep the role after suggesting him for the role.
Our hearts go out to everyone who knew and cared for Singleton and, in the end, the only thing that we can hope for is that Snowfall as a series can continue to do him proud and that, beyond just that, all of the cast and crew continue to be inspired by some of his work and the passion that he had for this project. They knew him for his films, but they also knew him as a man. We’re confident already that this will produce some beautiful work both in Snowfall and then also through the rest of their careers. (Photo: FX.)