Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Director Wolfgang Petersen Dies At 81

Mark Wahlberg, George Clooney, Wolfgang Petersen at The Perfect Storm premiere

Wolfgang Petersen, the German director who rose to fame initially in the classic film Das Boot, has died at the age of 81.

His filmography has something for everyone. He directed 1984’s The NeverEnding Story, 1993’s In the Line of Fire, 1995’s Outbreak, 1997’s Air Force One, 2000’s The Perfect Storm, 2004’s Troy and the 2006 Poseidon remake with Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss.

The director died on Friday at his Brentwood residence from pancreatic cancer, in the arms of his wife of 50 years, Maria Antoinette, according to

Petersen spoke recently about what he sees as his greatest accomplishment, The Perfect Storm.  “That was a concept that was very difficult to get through the studio system because it was very expensive. It was the biggest storm ever shown. And the story— I mean six guys on the Andrea Gail boat, who, at the end, as we all know, die,” he said. “We got a lot of calls from people who said, ‘Wolfgang, don’t be crazy. This can’t work. This is a summer movie, a $150-million movie. And they all die at the end? Are you nuts? Can you at least have one, like Mark Wahlberg, survive at the end?’ But we did it.”