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Director David R. Ellis Dies at 60, Cause of Death Unknown

By Sydney Bucksbaum, Hollywood.com Staff

Director David R. Ellis died early Monday morning at 60 years old in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of death is unknown.

Ellis was in South Africa preparing to direct the live-action film KITE, an adaptation of the 1998 Japanese anime reuniting him with his Snakes on a Plane star Samuel L. Jackson.

Born in Los Angeles on September 10, 1952, Ellis had a long career in the entertainment industry, first as an actor and then stuntman and stunt coordinator, before moving on to second unit directing in 1986. It was then that Ellis was tasked with directing action sequences: first on on Waterworld, and later on such films as The Matrix Reloaded, and Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone.

Ellis' first directing job was on the Disney film Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco in 1996. He also directed Final Destination 2, Cellular, Snakes On A Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination, and Shark Night 3D. Ellis also did second unit directing on the upcoming Winter's Tale starring Colin Farrell, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum

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