Wolfgang Petersen, “Das Boot” and “Air Drive One” director, dies at age 81

Wolfgang Petersen, the German filmmaker whose World Battle II submarine epic “Das Boot” propelled him right into a blockbuster Hollywood profession that included the movies “Within the Line of Fireplace,” “Air Drive One” and “The Excellent Storm,” has died. He was 81.

Petersen died Friday at his dwelling within the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood after a battle with pancreatic most cancers, mentioned consultant Michelle Bega.

Petersen, born in Emden, Germany, made two options earlier than his 1982 breakthrough, “Das Boot.” Then the most costly film in German movie historical past, the 149-minute “Das Boot” (the unique reduce ran 210 minutes) chronicled the extreme claustrophobia of life aboard a doomed German U-boat in the course of the Battle of the Atlantic, with Jürgen Prochnow because the submarine’s commander. Heralded as an antiwar masterpiece, “Das Boot” was nominated for six Oscars, together with for Petersen’s route and his adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling 1973 novel.

To Petersen, who grew up on the northern coast of Germany, the ocean lengthy held his fascination. He would return to it within the 2000 catastrophe movie, “The Excellent Storm,” a true-life story of a fishing boat misplaced at sea.

“The ability of water is unbelievable,” Petersen mentioned in a 2009 interview. “I used to be at all times impressed as a child how sturdy it’s, all of the injury the water might do when it simply turned inside a few hours, and smashed in opposition to the shore.”

Off Duty' German Premiere In Berlin
Wolfgang Petersen attends the ‘Off Responsibility’ German Premiere on February 03, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

Isa Foltin

“Das Boot” launched Petersen as a filmmaker in Hollywood, the place he grew to become one of many prime makers of motion adventures of large cataclysms that spanned struggle (2004’s “Troy,” with Brad Pitt), pandemic (the 1995 ebolavirus-inspired “Outbreak”) and different ocean-set disasters (2006’s “Poseidon,” concerning the capsizing of an ocean liner).

Petersen is survived by his second spouse Maria-Antoinette Borgel, a German script supervisor and assistant director whom he wed in 1978, his son Daniel Petersen and two grandchildren.

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