David R. Ellis
|David R. Ellis|
|Born||David Richard Ellis
September 8, 1952
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Died||January 7, 2013
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Occupation||Film director, stuntman|
Following a successful career as a junior pro surfer; David Richard Ellis began his career in the film industry as a supporting actor in juvenile roles making his big screen debut in 1975 in the Kurt Russell film The Strongest Man in the World. In 1978, he received a promotion to stunt coordinator on The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. After several successful years in this position, he worked from 1986 onwards as a second unit director before making his debut as a director in the Disney live-action film Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. He is best known for directing two of the Final Destination films and the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane, which became an Internet phenomenon.
As a stunt man he was best known for his work in the movie Scarface. Other notable works as a stunt man include Fatal Attraction, Lethal Weapon, the television series Baywatch, and Patriot Games. As a second-unit director he worked on a number of well-known movies that most recently include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Matrix Reloaded, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Cop Out. At the time of his death, two works involving Ellis were still in post-production: 47 Ronin and R.I.P.D.; another, Winter's Tale, was still being filmed. R.I.P.D. was released in July 2013; 47 Ronin is set for release in December, while Winter's Tale has been scheduled for a February 2014 release date.
He was perhaps best known as a director with seven titles under his belt. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, Final Destination 2, Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination, and Shark Night. At the time of his death, he was in the process of directing a live-action version of the violent anime Kite; it is now being directed by Ralph Ziman.
He was nominated for the Taurus Award along with Glenn Boswell and R. A. Rondell in 2003 for his stunt coordination work on The Matrix Reloaded.
David R. Ellis was the father of producer Tawny and photographer Cheyenne Ellis. He was the son of Richard and Andrea Ellis, the grandfather to Kodiak and Ridge Ellis, as well as the brother of Annie, Lori, and Chenoa Ellis. He is survived by his wife Cindy.
When Ellis was once about to be carjacked, trapped between two other cars, he used his stunt-driving prowess to whip his car out of the tiny gap and face the carjackers, revving his engine, scaring them enough to get back into their cars and drive away.
On January 7, 2013, Ellis's body was found in the bathroom of his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa; he was there shooting Kite at the time. No cause of death has been released, however, police say no foul play was suspected.
|1996||Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco||$32,772,492 (USA)|
|2003||Final Destination 2||$26,000,000||$90,426,405|
|2006||Snakes on a Plane||$33,000,000||$62,022,014|
|2008||Asylum||$11,000,000||$69,290,289 (Russia: $519,857)|
|2009||The Final Destination||$40,000,000||$186,167,139|