Snakes on a Plane director dies in South Africa

January 09, 2013 - 12:42:42 am

JOHANNESBURG: David R Ellis, the child actor and former stuntman who went on to direct gory films, including Snakes on a Plane, has been found dead in a Johannesburg hotel.

Ellis, 60, was last seen alive in a restaurant on Saturday. His body was discovered in a bathroom by a hotel manager at the weekend. There was no indication of foul play or robbery, police said in a statement yesterday.

“It is unknown what was the cause of death,” South African police said.

Ellis was in South Africa shooting a movie. 

His 2006 film Snakes on a Plane about reptiles slithering through a jet inflicting gruesome deaths on passengers spawned numerous parodies, massive Internet hoopla and was one of the most heavily hyped films of the North American summer season.

The film’s star, Samuel L Jackson, threatened to quit when the studio considered changing the title, saying he had taken the job based on the name.

“So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He’ll be missed. Gone too soon!” Jackson tweeted yesterday.

Ellis also directed other B-list thrillers, including Shark Night and Cellular. Reuters

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