Snakes on a Plane Director, 60, Found Dead in Hotel

But police don't suspect foul play in death of David R. Ellis, 60

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 9, 2013 10:35 AM CST

(Newser) – David R. Ellis, the 60-year-old director of Snakes on a Plane, was found dead in the bathroom of his Johannesburg hotel room Monday, the AP reports. He had been in South Africa working on a remake of 1998 Japanese anime film Kite, and was last seen in a restaurant Saturday. "Nothing was found to be missing from his room and no foul play is being suspected at this stage," says a police spokesperson. An autopsy was done yesterday, but the cause of death has not yet been determined.

"So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing!" tweeted Snakes star Samuel L. Jackson, who was also slated to star in Kite. "So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He'll be missed. Gone too soon!" Ellis, a married father of three, started off his career in the entertainment industry as an actor in the 1970s, then became a stuntman and eventually started directing. His credits also include Shark Night 3D and Final Destination and its sequel.

In this July 21, 2006 file photo, actor Samuel L. Jackson, left, poses outside with director David R. Ellis at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
In this July 21, 2006 file photo, actor Samuel L. Jackson, left, poses outside with director David R. Ellis at Comic-Con International in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Chris Park, File)
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