Director David R. Ellis has died suddenly and unexpectedly, Deadline.com reports, as he was in Johannesburg, South Africa, prepping a live-action adaptation of the anime Kite.
Though he’ll undoubtedly be remembered primarily as the guy who let Samuel L. Jackson deliver the signature line about his impatience with reptiles, Ellis is also the guy who made one of my favorite horror sequels, Final Destination 2, in which he took the absurd premise of death-by-coincidental-Rube-Goldberg-chain-of-events and made it fun, stripping away the self-seriousness that hampered the first one. He was no great auteur, but he knew what his movies were and he was unpretentious about letting them hit the marks they needed to.
Kite would certainly have been an interesting project to adapt, especially starring Samuel L. Jackson. No word yet on if it will continue or not.