Wolfgang Petersen, the German filmmaker whose World War II submarine epic Das Boot propelled him to a blockbuster Hollywood career starring the films In the Line of Fire, Air Force One and The Perfect Storm” has died.
He was 81.
Petersen died Friday at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles after a battle with pancreatic cancer, Representative Michelle Bega said.
Petersen, born in Emden, Germany, directed two feature films before his breakthrough in 1982, “Das Boot”. What was then the most expensive film in German film history, the 149-minute Das Boot (the original cut lasted 210 minutes) chronicled the intense claustrophobia of life aboard a doomed German U-boat during the Battle of the Atlantic, with Jürgen Prochnow on the commander of the submarine.
Hailed as an anti-war masterpiece, Das Boot was nominated for six Academy Awards, including for Petersen’s direction and adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling 1973 novel.
For Petersen, who grew up on the north coast of Germany, the sea has long held a fascination. He returned to it in the 2000 disaster film The Perfect Storm, a true story of a fishing boat lost at sea.
“The power of water is incredible,” said Petersen in a 2009 interview. “As a kid, I was always amazed at how powerful it is, how much damage the water can do when it spins and hits the shore in a matter of hours.”
Das Boot brought Petersen to Hollywood as a filmmaker, where he became one of the top creators of action-adventures of massive disasters, wars (2004’s Troy starring Brad Pitt), pandemics (1995’s Ebola-inspired Outbreak ) and other marine disasters (2006’s Poseidon about the capsizing of an ocean liner).
Petersen is survived by his second wife Maria-Antoinette Borgel, a German screenwriter and assistant director whom he married in 1978, son Daniel Petersen and two grandchildren.
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https://6abc.com/wolfgang-petersen-famous-deaths-das-boot-air-force-one/12131026/ ‘Air Force One,’ ‘Outbreak’ filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen dies at 81