The death of the American director, who enjoyed a successful career as an actor and stuntman before going behind the camera, was confirmed yesterday by his manager.
He said Ellis’ body was found in a hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was working on “Kite,” a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime film that was to have starred “Snakes On A Plane” actor Samuel L Jackson.
Mr Gardner declined to provide additional details, and no cause of death has been released.
Ellis’ directing credits included “Shark Night 3D”, “The Final Destination”, “Cellular” and “Final Destination 2.”
He also worked on such films as “Misery” and “Waterworld.”
He began his career as a child actor in Hollywood later making the switch to stunts following a career as a junior pro surfer. The Californian-born film-maker’s first role as stunt co-ordinator was on 1978 horror movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
He is survived by his wife and three children.
Tributes have been paid to Ellis on Twitter. Samuel L Jackson wrote: “So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing! So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He’ll be missed. Gone too soon!”