No foul play in film director’s death in Jhb hotel

2013-01-08 16:23

South African police say no foul play is suspected in the death of David R Ellis, an American movie director whose body was found in a hotel bathroom in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.

The hotel manager discovered Ellis’s body at about 1pm yesterday.

Police say 60-year-old Ellis, who directed the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane, was last seen on Saturday by a friend in a restaurant.

According to the news agency, police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said nothing was missing from Ellis’s hotel room and no foul play is suspected “at this stage”.

Ellis was in Johannesburg working on Kite, a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime film that was to have starred Snakes on a Plane actor Samuel L Jackson.

Jackson, who was also set to star in Kite, took to Twitter to offer condolences for his colleague’s passing.

He tweeted: “So sad to hear of David R Ellis passing. So talented, so kind, such a good friend. He’ll be missed. Gone to(o) soon.

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