David R. Ellis was known for his work as a stuntman and later for his versatile directing, from films like "Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco" to "Snakes on a Plane."
David R. Ellis, director of "Snakes on a Plane," died Monday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ellis was 60 years old.
According to media reports, Ellis's agent, David Boxerbaum, has said that the cause of death is unknown. Ellis was known for his work as a stuntman and later a stunt coordinator, working on films like "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
As a film director, Ellis' resume included "The Final Destination" and "Snakes on a Plane," the latter becoming a viral phenomenon and catchphrase on the Internet. The 2006 film starred Samuel L. Jackson as an FBI agent trying to protect a witness aboard a plane— appropriately infested with snakes.
Jackson took to Twitter to express his condolences for the loss of the director, saying, "So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing! So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He'll be missed. Gone too soon!"
Ellis' IMDb page shows he most recently acted as assistant director on upcoming films including "47 Ronin," starring Keanu Reeves, and "R.I.P.D." with Ryan Reynolds.