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Bernd Eichinger

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Bernd Eichinger
Eichinger in 1997
Born(1949-04-11)11 April 1949
Died24 January 2011(2011-01-24) (aged 61)
Occupation(s)Film producer, screenwriter, director
Years active1972–2010
(m. 2006)
Partner(s)Jane Seitz (1980s)
Katja Flint (1990s)
Corinna Harfouch (1999–2004)
ChildrenNina Eichinger

Bernd Eichinger (German: [bɛʁnt ˈaɪ.̯çɪŋ.ɐ] ; 11 April 1949 – 24 January 2011) was a German film producer, screenwriter, and director.

Life and career[edit]

Eichinger was born in Neuburg an der Donau. He attended the University of Television and Film Munich in the 1970s and bought a stake in the fledgling studio company Neue Constantin Film in 1979, becoming its executive director. Under his leadership, Constantin Film evolved into one of the most successful German film businesses. As of 2005, he was chairman of the supervisory board and still owned a substantial stake in the company. Eichinger also produced some movies independently (for example, Downfall).[1] One of Eichinger's last films was about the left-wing terrorist group Red Army Faction (RAF) and based on the book Der Baader Meinhof Komplex ("The Baader-Meinhof Complex") by Stefan Aust.[2]

The range of genres of films, for television and the big screen, was unusually varied. He produced a 3D zombie movie, Resident Evil: Afterlife; to Atomised, a film adaptation of novel by French star writer and social critic Michel Houellebecq. He was an incredibly prolific film maker, with almost 100 films to his credit.[3]

Eichinger was known as tenacious. It took him 20 years to convince Patrick Süskind, the German author of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, to trust him with the rights to make the international bestseller into a film. In 2006, the film was released, grossing $135 million worldwide.[3]

In the 1980s, Eichinger obtained the film rights to the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer, decades before making movies based on Marvel comics was trending.[3]

In 1991, he was a co-founder of Summit, the Los Angeles-based production and film sales company. Due to the success of Twilight, Summit eventually became Summit Entertainment.[3]


Eichinger with his wife Katja in 2008

Eichinger was married to Katja Hofmann, a journalist. He had a daughter from a previous relationship, Nina Eichinger, an actress and TV presenter.[4]


Eichinger died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on 24 January 2011 at the age of 61.[1][5]


Selected filmography[edit]

Bernd Eichinger's best known films include:

Year Title Director Based on Language Notes
1977 Grete Minde Heidi Genée A novel by Theodor Fontane German
1977 Die Konsequenz Wolfgang Petersen An autobiographical novel by Alexander Ziegler German TV film
1977 Hitler: A Film from Germany Hans-Jürgen Syberberg German
1978 The Glass Cell Hans W. Geißendörfer The Glass Cell by Patricia Highsmith German
1981 Christiane F. Uli Edel[1] The non-fiction book by Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck about Christiane F. German
1984 The Neverending Story Wolfgang Petersen[1] The Neverending Story by Michael Ende English
1986 The Name of the Rose Jean-Jacques Annaud[1] The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco English
1987 Der Unsichtbare Ulf Miehe German
1988 Me and Him Doris Dörrie A novel by Alberto Moravia English
1989 Last Exit to Brooklyn Uli Edel[7] Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. English
1990 Fire, Ice and Dynamite Willy Bogner English
1990 Werner – Beinhart! Gerhard Hahn [de], Michael Schaack [de], Niki List [de] The Werner comic books by Rötger Feldmann German
1991 Manta, Manta Wolfgang Büld [de] German
1992 Salt on Our Skin Andrew Birkin A novel by Benoîte Groult English
1993 The Cement Garden Andrew Birkin The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan English
1993 The House of the Spirits Bille August The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende English
1994 The Fantastic Four Oley Sassone Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee English Unreleased
1994 Der bewegte Mann Sönke Wortmann Two comic books by Ralf König German
1996 The Superwife Sönke Wortmann A novel by Hera Lind [de] German
1996 A Girl Called Rosemary Bernd Eichinger Rosemary (1958) German TV film
1997 Smilla's Sense of Snow Bille August Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg English
1997 Prince Valiant Anthony Hickox Prince Valiant by Hal Foster English
1998 Wrongfully Accused Pat Proft English
1999 The Devil and Ms. D [de] Bernd Eichinger A novel by Helmut Krausser German also screenwriter
2000 Ants in the Pants Marc Rothemund German
2001 The Mists of Avalon Uli Edel The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley English TV film
2001 Nowhere in Africa Caroline Link An autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig German co-produced by Eichinger; won Oscar
2002 666 – Traue keinem, mit dem du schläfst! Rainer Matsutani [de] German
2002 Resident Evil Paul W. S. Anderson[1] Resident Evil English
2004 Downfall Oliver Hirschbiegel German also screenwriter
2004 Resident Evil: Apocalypse Alexander Witt Resident Evil English
2005 Fantastic Four Tim Story Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee English
2006 Atomised Oskar Roehler Atomised by Michel Houellebecq German
2006 DOA: Dead or Alive Corey Yuen Dead or Alive English
2006 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Tom Tykwer Perfume by Patrick Süskind English co-writer
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Tim Story Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee English
2007 Resident Evil: Extinction Russell Mulcahy Resident Evil English
2007 Pornorama Marc Rothemund German
2008 The Baader Meinhof Complex Uli Edel[1] The non-fiction book by Stefan Aust about the Red Army Faction German also screenwriter
2009 Pope Joan Sönke Wortmann Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross English
2010 Zeiten ändern dich Uli Edel The autobiography of the German rapper Bushido German co-writer
2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife Paul W. S. Anderson Resident Evil English
2011 3096 Days Sherry Hormann English


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "German filmmaker Bernd Eichinger dies at 61". Reuters. 25 January 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  2. ^ (in German) "Der Eichinger-Komplex" in Jungle World, 22 February 2006. ISSN 1613-0766.
  3. ^ a b c d Roxborough, Scott (25 January 2011). "European Film World Reacts to Death of German Producer Bernd Eichinger". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  4. ^ Bergan, Ronald (30 January 2011). "Bernd Eichinger". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Produzent Bernd Eichinger gestorben". Spiegel Online. 25 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Bayerischer Filmpreis - "Pierrot"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009.
  7. ^ Travers, Peter (4 May 1990). "Last Exit to Brooklyn". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 June 2017.

External links[edit]