In some unexpected and sad news, film director David R. Ellis has died. He was 60 years old.
Ellis’ body was found in his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, and cause of death is unknown at this time. Ellis was in pre-production on a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime “Kite” that Samuel L. Jackson is attached to.
Ellis began his career doing stunts in the likes of “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Scarface,” “Lethal Weapon,” and “Fatal Attraction.” He moved onto second unit directing on the likes of “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “The Matrix Reloaded” before trying his hand at full-time directing.
His big break came with the “Final Destination” series which he directed the second and fourth entries in. He also helmed “Snakes on a Plane,” “Cellular,” “Asylum” and “Shark Night 3D”.
There are also three movies to be released later this year on which he served as second unit director “47 Ronin,” “R.I.P.D.” and “Winter’s Tale.”