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R.I.P. Bernd Eichinger, German writer-producer behind Downfall and The Neverending Story

Bernd Eichinger, the German writer and producer behind films such as Downfall, The Name Of The Rose, and The Neverending Story, has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 61. Eichinger’s Constantin Films became one of the most successful film companies in Germany under his leadership, and Eichinger was one the most famous producers there, not only for gritty German dramas like Christiane F., but also for international films full of American stars like The House Of The Spirits, Last Exit To Brooklyn, Body Of Evidence, and Smilla’s Sense Of Snow, while his success with big-budget epics like Neverending Story and The Name Of The Rose eventually paved the way to working on three Resident Evil films and three Fantastic Four films (including the little-seen 1994 adaptation). As a writer, Eichinger contributed the screenplays to the Oscar-nominated Downfall (Der Untergang) and Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer, as well as the 1999 thriller The Devil And Ms. D, which he also directed. His most recent scripts were for 2008’s The Baader-Meinhof Complex and last year’s Time You Change, both of which reunited him with longtime collaborator Uli Edel.

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