After establishing himself in his native Germany, director Wolfgang Petersen enjoyed a huge international success with the tense submarine thriller, "Das Boot" (1981), which opened the doors wide open for what proved to be a successful career making blockbuster Hollywood movies. Following "Das Boot," Petersen earned critical acclaim for his touching, but visually dynamic children's fantasy, "The Neverending Story" (1984), an American debut that trumpeted his arrival on the scene. But he failed to have another success until almost a decade later with "In the Line of Fire" (1993), a tense and well-received action thriller that benefited greatly from the cat-and-mouse between star Clint Eastwood and his onscreen tormentor John Malkovich. Following that picture's commercial success, Petersen floundered with the ill-received "Outbreak" (1995), though he bounced back with the blockbuster "Air Force One" (1997), a sometimes silly and implausible thriller that harkened back to the previous decade's action hits. Entering the next century, Petersen raised the stakes - both onscreen and with his budget - for "A Perfect Storm" (2000), a less-than-factual accounting of real-life events that struggled to recoup its financials at the box office. Following the even more bloated "Troy" (2004) and "Poseidon" (2006), Petersen had without a doubt cemented his reputation as a fine technical director who, despite his early successes, unfortunately struggled later in his career with presenting compelling characters audiences could relate to.