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David R. Ellis, a director known for genre films like Snakes on a Plane, has died at age 60. His agent, David Boxerbaum, says that the cause of death is still unknown.
Although Ellis has directed his own films, he recently found work as a second unit director on Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin, Ryan Reynolds’ R.I.P.D. and Winter’s Tale, reports The Los Angeles Times. It isn’t known if his death will affect those productions.
Ellis died while in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was scouting locations for his next project, Kite. The film would have reunited him with star Samuel L. Jackson. The actor paid tribute to his friend on Twitter, writing, “So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing! So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He'll be missed. Gone too soon!”
The Malibu-born director’s long Hollywood career began when he was just 19. He worked as a stuntman in over 70 films, according to his IMDb page. His films as a stuntman include Scarface, Patriot Games, Fatal Attraction and Lethal Weapon.
In 1996, he made his directorial debut with Disney’s Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. His other directing credits include Asylum and The Final Destination. His most recent effort was Shark Night 3D.