Police suspect no foul play after the filmmaker was discovered in his South Africa hotel room

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 09, 2013 10:20 AM
Byron Purvis/AdMedia; New Line Cinema

David R. Ellis, a filmmaker best known for the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane, which he directed, was found dead in the bathroom of his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday, his manager confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 60.

Police say no foul play is suspected, while results of an autopsy have not been released.

“So sad to hear of David R. Ellis passing!” Tweeted Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in Snakes. “So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He’ll be missed. Gone too soon!”

Ellis, who started his career as an actor and stuntman in the ’70s, was in Johannesburg to work on Kite, a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime film that also was to have starred Jackson, reports The New York Times.

His credits include Lethal Weapon, as stuntman; Fatal Attraction; and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as second-unit director, and, as director, Shark Night 3D, Cellular and Final Destination 2, according to IMDB.

Survivors are his wife and three children.