Acclaimed ‘Das Boot’ Director Wolfgang Petersen Passes Away!!

Acclaimed Hollywood director Wolfgang Petersen revered for his string of blockbusters movies has passed away The German filmmaker took Hollywood by storm after the massive success of his World War II movie Das Boot, a movie credited with revolutionizing action movies for its era. He made his mark in Hollywood writing and directing classic blockbusters from In the Line of Fire starring Clint Eastwood to Airforce One starring Harrison Ford. He was 81 years old at the time of his death.

Petersen reportedly passed away on Friday, August 12 at his home in Brentwood in the arms of his loving wife, Maria Antoinette to whom he was married for 50 years. The filmmaker lost his life to pancreatic cancer.

Petersen began his filmmaking career in Berlin making productions for German TV before starting to make theatrical features in 1974. Fast forward to the early 80s, Petersen earned a much-deserved breakthrough when his World War II epic Das Boot gained international recognition. An agonizing tale of the misfortunes that beset German submariners during the closing years of the second world war, The movie was adapted from Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling 1973 autobiographical novel and cost $18.5 million to make; the highest budget for a German movie at the time. Petersen‘s investment paid off as Das Boot placed him on an international stage earning a whopping 6 Academy Award nominations with Petersen winning two for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie remains his highest-rated work with an impressive 98% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

On the strength of Das Boot‘s success, Petersen launched into Hollywood and quickly proved that his German-language hit was no fluke. Before delving right into blockbusters, Petersen began by demonstrating his versatility in The NeverEnding Story (1984), a fantasy film loosely based on a 1979 Michael Ende novel of the same name. Petersen widened his blockbuster portfolio with the 1993 political thriller In the Line of Fire with Eastwood playing a Secret Service agent who fails to stop the assassination of Kennedy but gets the opportunity to step up his game when the life of the next president is threatened.

Rising to become an in-demand director, Petersen would then work with a string of Hollywood leading men including Ford, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Brad Pitt. Some of his other notable works include The Perfect Storm, Troy, and Poseidon. With The Perfect Storm and Poseidon, Petersen explored his fascination with the element of water which he once described as “the most beautiful, almost mesmerizing element — and it’s most dangerous.”

Petersen is survived by his wife Maria, his son Daniel Petersen from his first marriage to German actress Ursula Sieg, and his grandchildren. Our condolences go out to Petersen‘s family and friends.


via Collider

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