David R. Ellis has died aged 60

It’s with sadness that we report that David R. Ellis has died, aged 60.

Best known for directing the likes of Snakes On A Plane and Final Destination 2 , Ellis had a varied career that included acting and stuntwork.

Born in California in 1952, Ellis began got his first credit as an actor on Kurt Russell Disney flick, The Strongest Man In The World in 1975. He also scored a small role in Rocky III .

After dabbling in surfing, Ellis made a name for himself as a stuntman, and went on to perform or coordinate stunts in Scarface , Smokey And The Bandit , Days Of Thunder , Lethal Weapon , Patriot Games and plenty more besides.

Ellis made his directorial debut with Homeward Bound 2 , before carving out a crowdpleasingly schlocky niche helming Final Destination 2 , Cellular , Snakes On A Plane , Asylum , The Final Destination and Shark Night 3D .

He had recently been working as a second unit director on R.I.P.D. , 47 Ronin and Winter’s Tale .

Ellis passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he had been preparing his next directorial effort, KITE .

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.