Deadline and multiple sources are reporting Snakes on a Plane helmer David R Ellis has died in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ellis was there scouting locations for Kite which would have reunited him with Snakes' Samuel L Jackson. Ellis was 60 years old. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
Ellis began his time in Hollywood working as a stunt coordinator on films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Gorky Park, and Fatal Attraction. He did second unit director work on titles including Clear and Present Danger, The Devil's Own, and The Negotiator, and then made his directorial debut with Final Destination 2. Ellis followed that up with Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination, and Shark Night 3D. And he recently handled second director duties on 47 Ronin, R.I.P.D., and Winter's Tale.
I didn't personally know Ellis however I remember sitting down with him for my one-on-one interview in support of Snakes on a Plane and finding him to be a decent man who loved what he did for a living. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
- Looking Back: Exclusive David R Ellis Snakes on a Plane Interview
(Photo © Richard Chavez)