Das Boot and Air Force One director Wolfgang Petersen dies aged 81 | US News

German director Wolfgang Petersen, best known for his epic films about submarines Das Boot and World War Two Air Force One, has died at the age of 81.

The filmmaker died Friday at his home in the Brentwood area of ​​Los Angeles after a battle with pancreatic cancer, representative Michelle Bega said.

His 1982 foray, Das Boot, captured the intense suffocating fear of life aboard a German U-boat during the Battle of the Atlantic, with Jurgen Prochnow as the submarine’s commander.

The 149-minute film, considered an anti-war masterpiece, has been nominated for six Academy Awards and is the most expensive film in the history of German cinema.

Petersen’s films feature Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford and Rene Russo.

Das Boot made his Petersen debut as a filmmaker in Hollywood, where he became one of the leading producers of action-adventure films including 1993’s In The Line Of Fire with Clint Eastwood in the role. a secret service agent responsible for protecting the president. followed by the 1995 Ebola virus outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman.

Petersen returned to the presidency in 1997 aboard Air Force One.

Harrison Ford plays a president forced to fight terrorists who hijack Air Force One. The film was a resounding success, earning $315 million (£260 million) at the global box office.

Brad Pitt and Wolfgang Petersen in 2004. Photo: AP
Brad Pitt and Petersen in 2004. Photo: AP

Start up Das
Start up Das

Petersen’s 2000 film, The Perfect Storm, based on the true story of a Massachusetts fishing boat lost at sea, stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and a computer-generated wave at a height of 100ft.

With a budget of $120 million, the film grossed $328.7 million.

For Peterson, who grew up on the north coast of Germany, the sea has long fascinated him.

Petersen’s other films include The NeverEnding Story and Troy with Brad Pitt.

Harrison Ford and Wolfgang Petersen in the premiere of their new movie & # 39;  Air Force One & # 39;  in 1997. Photo: AP
Harrison Ford and Petersen at the launch of Air Force One in 1997. Photo: AP

Born in 1941, the filmmaker recalls as a child running alongside American ships as they threw down food.

In the tumultuous post-war Germany landscape, Petersen – who started his career in theater before studying at the Berlin Academy of Film and Television in the late 1960s – was attracted to Hollywood films with conflicts. clear between good and evil.

He was first married to German actress Ursula Sieg. When they divorced in 1978, he married Maria-Antoinette Borgel, a German script supervisor and assistant director.

He is survived by Borgel, his son Daniel Petersen, and two grandchildren.

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