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
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)

(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.

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