In 1981, Petersen made a huge splash internationally with the World War II U-boat thriller Das Boot. Earning two Oscar nods for his efforts and cementing his reputation as a master of suspense, Petersen soon answered Hollywood's call.
Petersen followed Das Boot with the fantasy epic The NeverEnding Story before returning to grittier themes in Shattered, In the Line of Fire and Outbreak. Other credits include the blockbusters Air Force One, The Perfect Storm and Troy.
After Bastian is harassed by bullies, he holes up in his school's attic with a book about Fantasia, a world of dragons, racing snails and other magical creatures. He follows the harrowing journey of Atreyu, who must save the threatened land.