Gregory Allen Howard, Remember the Titans and Ali Writer, Dead at 70

Gregory Allen Howard, a screenwriter and producer known for work on Remember the Titans and Ali, has passed away at the age of 70. The news was broken via his representative to The Hollywood Reporter, revealing that Howard died in Miami, Florida following a brief illness. Born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1952, Howard graduated from Princeton University with a degree in American history. After briefly working on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch, Howard moved to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career, beginning with stints on Where I Live and True Colors.

Soon after, Howard was tasked with writing a biopic for Muhammad Ali, which ultimately became the 2001 Will Smith-led biopic Ali. In between writing the script and the film's releasee, he then wrote the spec script for what would become the 2000 Disney blockbuster Remember the Titans.

Howard's later work includes an uncredited involvement with the 2006 sports drama Glory Road, as well as multiple yet-unreleased films. His last screenplay was for the 2019 bipoic Harriet, chronicling the life of Harriet Tubman.

"What I had heard for all those years was, "Nobody's going to pay to see the slave movie, Greg. Get out of my office." But I said, "But it doesn't matter. If the movie's good, people will see it,"" Howard told Vox in an interview at the time. ""No, we don't want it," I'd hear back. "No one's going to pay to see a slave story." I swear to God, I heard that for over 20 years. And then 12 Years a Slave came out and did massive business. It made almost $200 million worldwide. That's when I took [Harriet] off the shelf again. And I said, "You can't tell me what you've been telling me all this time." And they said, "Yeah, but see, that was a different movie." They came up with a different excuse. But the truth was that the business was changing. If this movie has been made 10 years ago, it would've been an outlier, and no one in town wants to be an outlier. Fear drives our industry, and I don't know that anybody's ever gotten fired for passing on a movie. But boy, if you say yes to something, or even go fight for it, you're risking your career. You're certainly risking your job."

Our thoughts are with Howard's family, friends, and fans at this time.