Director David R. Ellis, the director of 'Snakes on a Plane', has died today, Jan. 7, 2013, EW confirmed. No cause of death has been announced as of yet.
Ellis, aged 60, was found in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was 'prepping his next film, Kite, an adaptation of a Japanese animé that has Snakes on a Plane star Samuel L. Jackson attached as the lead', writes Adam B. Vary for Entertainment Weekly.
David R. Ellis began as an actor, working in mostly Kurt Russel and Disney films in the 1970s. His first transition to a role behind the camera was as Stunt Coordinator for the 1978 adaption of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', directed by Philip Kauffman. He rose in prominence as time went on, going on to 2nd Unit Director in 'Gorky Park' in and both 'Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger', where he befriended Harrison Ford.
His debut film as director was 'Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco', grossing around $100 million. He continued to direct, going onwards with 'Final Destination 2', 'Snakes on a Plane', and 'Shark Night 3D'.
He has continued to do 2nd Unit Director work, being credited on such recent--and acclaimed--films as 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' and 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'.