David R. Ellis

Director David R. Ellis, best known for helming Snakes on a Plane, died Monday at the age of 60, Deadline reports. No cause of death has been released.

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Ellis died in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was preparing to start production on his next film Kite, an adaptation of a Japanese anime that had Snakes star Samuel L. Jackson attached as the lead.

"So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing! So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He'll be missed. Gone too soon!" Jackson tweeted Monday.

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Ellis got his start as an actor before transitioning to stuntman and eventually stunt coordinator. He later did second unit directing for action sequences in films such as Waterworld and The Matrix Reloaded. In 1996, he made his directorial debut with Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco.

Ellis then moved on to directing high-action films, including Final Destination 2, Cellular, and Shark Night.