Hey may not have been nominated for any Oscars, but stuntman turned filmmaker David R. Ellis had more modest goals. His filmography suggests a director that was aiming for mainstream kudos despite what the critical world might have to say, but unfortunately, his career behind the camera was cut short. He has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 60.
Best known for meme-generating “Snakes On A Plane,” and two entries in the “Final Destination” franchise, Ellis made his debut as an actor, with a small role in the 1975 movie “The Strongest Man In The World” starring Kurt Russell. But he soon moved into performing as a stuntman and serving as a stunt coordinator, logging credits in a diverse array of films including “Scarface,” “To Live And Die In L.A.,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Patriot Games” and more. He also cut his teeth as a filmmaker as a second unit director, serving that function on “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Waterworld” and the upcoming “Winter’s Tale” with Colin Farrell, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe.
Following last year’s “Shark Night 3D,” Ellis was currently in Johannesburg, South Africa prepping the live-action adaptation of the anime “Kite,” which would find him reteaming with ‘Snakes’ and ‘Sea’ star Samuel L. Jackson. No cause of death has been given. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. [Deadline]