David R. Ellis, ‘Snakes on a Plane’ director, dies at 60

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jan 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-08 13:35:00-05

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

Director and stuntman David R. Ellis has died, a rep for Ellis tells CNN. The “Snakes on a Plane” helmer passed away on Monday.

Perhaps best known for leading that 2006 action thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ellis also directed 2003’s “Final Destination 2” and 2009’s “The Final Destination.” His first credit as director was for 1996’s “Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco.”

According to IMDb, Ellis was also an experienced stuntman, with 75 projects to his name.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Ellis was in Johannesburg, South Africa, when he died, and that the cause of death is unknown. He was in pre-production there for another film called “Kite,” which also features Jackson.

“So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing!” the actor wrote on Twitter Monday. “So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He’ll be missed. Gone too soon!”

In addition to his work as a lead director and stuntman, Ellis worked as a second unit director on a variety of titles, including “Deep Blue Sea,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and 2013’s “Winter’s Tale,” an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel starring Russell Crowe and Will Smith.

CNN’s KJ Matthews contributed to this report.