Check Out Our New Look

R.I.P David R. Ellis

By | Monday January 7, 2013 @ 2:18pm PST

Director David R. Ellis has died in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Snakes On A Plane helmer passed away suddenly early this morning Los Angeles-time, Deadline has learned. Ellis was 60 years old. Cause of death is not yet known. Ellis was in South Africa preparing to direct the film KITE. The director’s live-action adaptation of the 1998 Japanese anime was set to reunite Ellis with his Snakes star Samuel L. Jackson. Born in Los Angeles on September 10, 1952, Ellis started out in Hollywood as an actor and then stuntman and stunt coordinator. In 1986, Ellis moved on to second unit directing, helming the action sequences on films such as Waterworld, The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. His first directing job was on the Disney film Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco in 1996. Final Destination 2 followed in 2003, with Cellular in 2004 and Snakes On A Plane in 2006. He went on to direct Asylum in 2008, The Final Destination in 2009 and Shark Night 3D in 2011. Ellis also did second unit directing on the upcoming Winter’s Tale starring Colin Farrell, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe.

Comments 47

Samuel L. Jackson Lets Loose On ‘Django’, Tarantino, Slavery, Oscars And Golden Globes – Interview

Pete Hammond

With a filmography that includes roles in some of the highest-grossing movies of all time including The Avengers, Iron Man and the Star Wars series Samuel L. Jackson clearly knows how to pick ‘em. And that is entirely intentional. His current film Django Unchainedin which he is reunited with frequent director Quentin Tarantino opened to strong grosses on Christmas Day and is already looking like another solid box office hit.

In the film he plays Stephen, the conniving house slave for Leonardo DiCaprio‘s despicable character Calvin Candie. As the manipulative slave, Jackson says he is playing perhaps the most hated negro in cinematic history. He’s fine with that. “At least he’s a memorable character. I mean Quentin writes interesting characters. I’ve been pretty despicable in most of his films. People loved Jules (Pulp Fiction) but he’s a murderer. People loved Ordell (Jackie Brown) but he’s a murderer. Stephen has an unusual take on slavery. He’s okay with it,” he says and is not worried about what African American audiences might think (Spike Lee has already chimed in to express his displeasure with the film’s depiction of slaves). “I hope he’s reviled, and people want to see him die. People enjoy him, but it’s strange. He’s a funny guy in a way, despicably funny. People laugh at Stephen and what he does, but you know they do want to see him dead.” But still slavery is a serious subject and Jackson … Read More »

Comments 88