David R. Ellis, the director of films like Final Destination 2, The Final Destination, Snakes On A Plane, and Homeward Bound II, was found dead in a hotel in South Africa, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
So far, the cause of death has yet to be determined, but the stuntman turned director was only 60 years old. According to the report, he was in Johannesburg, working on pre-production for the film Kite, which was to star Samuel L. Jackson, who also starred in Ellis’ Snakes On A Plane (quite famously, I might add).
Ellis was a true Hollywood director, having been born there in 1952. Naturally, he began his career as an actor, first appearing in the Kurt Russell-starring The Strongest Man In The World. Eventually, he became a stuntman and a stunt coordinator. His stunt filmography is prolific, from Smokey and the Bandit and Scarface to Ghost Dad, Road House and Hotel For Dogs.
His director’s filmography includes: Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco, Final Destination 2, Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination, and Shark Night 3D. IMDB lists Ellis as the director of four films in pre-production: Paris I’ll Kill You (attached), Bad Luck, The Hail Mary, and Hot Water. He is also listed ad director for the announced Zombie Blondes. Interestingly, Kite is not listed.
Ellis acted in 12 titles. These include: The Strongest Man In The World, Heroes, Flying High, Boardwalk, Rocky III, Nightbeast, Anna, Guns of Paradise (TV series), The Mighty Quinn, Blind Fury and The Bounty Hunter.
Image via DreadCentral (YouTube)