David R. Ellis, who directed 2006’s Snakes on a Plane, has died. He was 60 years old.


His body was found in his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was in pre-production on Kite, a remake of a 1998 Japanese anime that was to have starred Snakes topliner Samuel L. Jackson. The cause of death is unknown.

Ellis got his start in Hollywood as a stuntman on films like “Smokey and the Bandit II,” “Rocky III” and “Lethal Weapon.” He did second unit directorial work on “Clear and Present Danger,” “Waterworld,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “The Matrix Reloaded.”

Ellis made his directorial debut with the 1996 “Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco,” and followed that with another sequel, “Final Destination 2.” The 2003 film earned $90 million worldwide. He later directed “Cellular” (with Chris Evans) and the aforementioned “Snakes on a Plane.”

For more on Ellis, head over to Deadline.com.

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