Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen has died, aged 81 1 month ago

Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen has died, aged 81

Petersen was nominated for two Oscars in his career.

Legendary director Wolfgang Petersen has died, aged 81.


The news was confirmed by Variety via his production company on Tuesday (16 August).

Petersen was born in Emden in Germany, before studying at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg.

Beginning his career in theatre, Petersen moved into film in the early 70s with One Or The Other Of Us.

His best-known work, however, came in 1982, with the release of the German war film Das Boot.


Based on the book of the same name, the film told the true story of the German U-96 submarine and its participation in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

The film was a huge success, spawning both a German and English version, earning the equivalent of $220 million in 2022 at the time.

The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including two for Petersen himself.

Das Boot has since been regarded as one of the greatest German films ever made.


Following Das Boot, Petersen went on to have an illustrious and varied career in Hollywood, with his first English-language film being children's classic The Neverending Story.

Petersen continued to work well into the 2000's, directing such films as In The Line of Fire, Air Force One, Outbreak, and Troy.

His final film was a 2016 reimagining of an adaptation he had created in 1976, Vier gegen die Bank (Four Against The Bank).

Tributes have poured in from across the entertainment world following the news of Petersen's passing.


"Very sad to hear Wolfgang Petersen passed away," Midnight Mass director Mike Flanagan said.

"I love DAS BOOT, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, THE PERFECT STORM, OUTBREAK... and I'll always have a very special place in my heart for THE NEVERENDING STORY. Rest In Peace."

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