RIP: David R. Ellis
I heard about this story a few hours ago, and really haven't seen much in the way about this story. Director David R. Ellis has passed away at 60 years old. As this is still recent news, as of this writing, details are obviously sketchy and no known cause of death has been reported at this time.
David R. Ellis never made it to the A-List of directors, but made films that gained small, cult-like audiences. After making Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco in 1996, David R. Ellis really broke through with 2003's Final Destination 2. Though not my personal favorite of the Final Destination franchise, it is almost unanimously considered one of the best in the Final Destination series. Once this film hit, David R. Ellis kept his level of success consistent through the rest of his life.
After making the small, yet appreciated, Cellular, David R. Ellis gained prominence by directing the internet-hyped Snakes on a Plane. Though the film failed to meet the almost-impossible anticipation, the film did open number 1 at the box office and turned a small profit. Along with that, the film is infamously known for the classic line delivered by Samuel L. Jackson "I've had it with these mother fuckin' snakes on this mother fuckin' plane."
Afterwards, David R. Ellis made 'Asylum' before he returned to the Final Destination franchise with 'The Final Destination'. Panned by most, and considered to be one of the worst of the franchise, David R. Ellis made the horror/comedy Shark Night 3D. The film was a small success, though never really ascertained the cult status as some of his prior films.
David R. Ellis passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa where he was scheduled to film the movie 'Kite' with his 'Snakes on a Plane star Samuel L. Jackson. I was never David R. Ellis' biggest fan, but I did appreciate some of the films he brought to the screen and feel that he had many more films to offer before his untimely passing.