February 15, 1968
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Director Robert Schwentke honed his craft in German cinema before making the move to Hollywood where he found success adapting various best-selling novels, comic books and young adult stories for the big screen. A graduate of the American Film Institute, Schwentke first attracted attention with the German-language thriller "Tattoo" (2002), and after following it up with the autobiographical "The Family Jewels" (2003), made his first foray into the English-language market with the Jodie Foster-starring mystery "Flightplan" (2005). Schwentke continued to establish a reputation as one of Europe's most talented young auteurs with films based on Audrey Niffenegger's romantic best-seller The Time Traveler's Wife and Warren Ellis & Cully Hamner's graphic novel, RED. And although a misfiring adaptation of Dark Horse comic R.I.P.D. received a scathing critical response, Schwentke quickly got his career back on track when he was hired to helm two installments of the "Divergent" franchise.Born in Stuttgart in 1968, Schwentke became enamored with the world of film from a young age and after graduating from the University of Tubingen with a degree in philosophy, moved to America to study at Hollywood's Columbia College and later the American Film Institute. Schwentke's first major credit was as a writer on three episodes of long-running German police procedural series "Tatort" (Das Erste, 1970-), but it was with directorial debut "Tattoo" (2002), a gruesome thriller in which two detectives hunt for a sadistic serial killer that skins his heavily-inked victims, that he first began to display the flair that would eventually attract Hollywood. Inspired by his own successful battle with testicular cancer eight years previously, comedy drama "The Family Jewels" (2003) cemented his status as one of Germany's most promising new filmmakers, and shortly after, Schwentke left his homeland to pursue a career in America.Starring Jodie Foster as a grieving widow whose young daughter disappears during a transatlantic flight, Schwentke's first English-language feature, "Flightplan" (2005), instantly put him on the international map, grossing over $223 million worldwide. But Schwentke took his time following it up, only returning four years later with "The Time Traveler's Wife" (2009), an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's decade-spanning romance about a librarian whose genetic disorder causes him to randomly time travel. In the same year, Schwentke returned to the small screen to direct the pilot episode of "Lie With Me" (Fox, 2009-2011), a crime drama in which Tim Roth plays a doctor who assists in various criminal investigations by analysing facial expressions and body language.Boasting an ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren, Schwentke's next venture, "RED" (2010), added to his tally of box-office hits, its tale of several aging former CIA agents who come out of retirement for one last mission serving up an appealing geriatric spin on the generic action movie. Unfortunately for Schwentke, his winning streak came to a crashing halt with his second consecutive graphic novel adaptation, "R.I.P.D." (2013). Based on Peter M. Lenkov's Rest In Peace Department, the story of Ryan Reynolds' undead cop attempting to discover who murdered him failed struggled to bring in more than half of its production budget, and received a near-universal critical drubbing in the process. Despite its failure, Schwentke was then trusted with the responsibility of handling two installments of the popular "Divergent" franchise, "Insurgent" (2015) and "Allegiant - Part 1" (2016), the young adult phenomenon in which a dystopian world is divided into factions based on personality traits.