Photo of Wolfgang Petersen Wolfgang Petersen

Born March 14, 1941, in Emden, Germany, director Wolfgang Petersen grew up in the shadow of World War II fascinated with American culture -- particularly the films of John Ford. Immersing himself in theater and film, Petersen began helming dramas for the small screen shortly after graduating from film school, and in the early 1970s, he began directing feature films.

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.

Wolfgang Petersen in The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story

1984 PG

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.

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