Cause of death has not been released but Deadline reports that director David R. Ellis has died unexpectedly while in South Africa prepping his next film, the live-action adaptation of the anime Kite.
His career began as an actor before leading to stunt coordinating which in turn eventually lead to directing. While best known for pitting Samuel L. Jackson against poisonous snakes at 30,000 feet in Snakes On A Plane, his best film is Final Destination 2. The sequel raised the bar on gore and splatter in the series and remains the pinnacle of what those films can be. Say what you will about his other films, Shark Night 3D, Cellular, the idiotically NASCAR-based The Final Destination, but it’s only appropriate to play him off with his greatest work — the spectacular car crash from Final Destination 2. Our condolences.