HomeNewsWolfgang Petersen, Director from "Das Boot" and "Air Force One," Dies at...

Wolfgang Petersen, Director from “Das Boot” and “Air Force One,” Dies at 81

German-born director Wolfgang Petersen has died at the age of 81 near Los Angeles. The filmmaker, who first came to prominence with Das Boot, later went on to direct several high-tech feature films, including Shattered, Outbreak, In the Line of Fire, The Perfect Storm, Troy, Poseidon, and Air Force One. In the mid-1980s, Petersen also directed Enemy Mine, a sci-fi epic, and The NeverEnding Story, a fantasy film.

Pancreatic cancer was the cause of death, says his publicist, who noted that he died in the arms of his wife of 50 years, Marie Antoinette.

Born in Germany during World War II, Petersen began making films in his twenties. He first came to prominence at the age of 40 with his WWII feature Das Boot, which starred Jürgen Prochnow as a U-boat captain, earned six Oscar nominations, including two for Petersen (best director and best adapted screenplay).

Petersen next directed and co-wrote 1984’s fantasy film The NeverEnding Story, which was set on Earth and in the storybook kingdom of Fantasia. A Variety reviewer described it as “a marvelously realized flight of pure fantasy.” In 1993, he was applauded for In the Line of Fire, starring Clint Eastwood as a Secret Service agent at the time of the assassination of President John F Kennedy, and John Malkovich as the villainous assassin. The film was both a financial and critical success and propelled Petersen to the front ranks of trHollywood directors.

In his 1997 film, Air Force One, starring Harrison Ford Petersen returned to the world of Secret Service agents attempting to thwart another presidential assassination, this time by a cadre of Communist hijackers. The Perfect Storm (2000) was an adaptation of a book by Sebastian Junger about a fishing vessel in the crosshairs of a killer storm in the North Atlantic. It starred George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. His next films, Troy and Poseidon, were not as well received as his earlier triumphs.

Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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