Bernd Eichinger

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Bernd Eichinger
Bernd Eichinger (cropped).jpg
Eichinger in 2008
Born(1949-04-11)11 April 1949
Neuburg an der Donau, Bavaria, Germany
Died24 January 2011(2011-01-24) (aged 61)
Los Angeles, United States
OccupationFilm producer
Film director
Years active1972–2010
Spouse(s)Katja Hofmann (2006–2011)
Partner(s)Jane Seitz (1980s)
Katja Flint (1990s)
Corinna Harfouch (1999–2004)
ChildrenNina Eichinger

Bernd Eichinger (11 April 1949 – 24 January 2011) was a German film producer, director and screenwriter.

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) 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 Atomized, a film adaptation of the controversial novel by French recluse 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 Susskind, 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 was married to Katja Hoffman, a journalist. He has 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 Notes
1977 Grete Minde Heidi Genée
1977 Die Konsequenz Wolfgang Petersen
1982 Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo Uli Edel[1]
1984 The Neverending Story Wolfgang Petersen[1]
1986 The Name of the Rose Jean-Jacques Annaud[1]
1989 Last Exit to Brooklyn Uli Edel[7]
1991 Manta, Manta Wolfgang Büld
1992 The Cement Garden Andrew Birkin
1993 The House of the Spirits Bille August
1994 The Fantastic Four Oley Sassone
1994 Der bewegte Mann Sönke Wortmann
1996 A Girl Called Rosemary Bernd Eichinger TV film
1997 Smilla's Sense of Snow Bille August
1997 Prince Valiant Anthony Hickox
1999 Der große Bagarozy Bernd Eichinger also screenwriter
2001 Nowhere in Africa Caroline Link co-produced by Eichinger; won Oscar
2002 Resident Evil Paul Anderson[1]
2004 Downfall Oliver Hirschbiegel also screenwriter
2004 Resident Evil: Apocalypse Alexander Witt
2005 Fantastic Four Tim Story
2006 Atomised Oskar Roehler
2006 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Tom Tykwer co-writer
2007 Resident Evil: Extinction Russell Mulcahy
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Tim Story
2008 The Baader Meinhof Complex Uli Edel[1] also screenwriter
2010 Zeiten ändern dich Uli Edel co-writer
2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife Paul W. S. Anderson
2011 3096 Sherry Hormann
2012 The Vow Michael Sucsy not credited


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "German filmmaker Bernd Eichinger dies at 61". Reuters. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  2. ^ (in German) "Der Eichinger-Komplex" in Jungle World, 2006-02-22. 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 (2011-01-30). "Bernd Eichinger". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  5. ^ "Produzent Bernd Eichinger gestorben". Spiegel Online. 25 January 2011.
  6. ^ "PreistraegerdesBayerischenFilmpreises-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]