The final chapter in the history of Road Movies may have been written with the news of the firing of Wim Wenders as managing director from the company he founded with partners in 1976 to make such classics as Paris, Texas, Wings Of Desire and Buena Vista Social Club.
A second managing director at Road Movies - Frank Graf - was also given his marching orders, so that the company now has only Das Werk's Joachim Sturmes in the managerial driving seat.
According to a report by the German news weekly Der Spiegel, Holger Lessing, Das Werk's insolvency administrator, took action after Wenders proposed that Road Movies should file for insolvency.
Such a move by Wenders did not suit Lessing who is apparently looking for a "solution outside of insolvency" for the future of Road Movies' assets. In addition, he suggested that Wenders was caught in a conflict of interests as the filmmaker is himself trying to buy back the production company and the rights to his films.
In 1999, Road Movies became a subsidiary of the Das Werk postproduction group before it went public on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt. In the past four years, the production outfit produced such films as Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotel and co-produced Ken Loach's Bread And Roses and The Navigators and Gurinda Chadhha's Bend It Like Beckham.
Last year, Wenders' long-standing partner Uli Felsberg stepped down as managing director and moved to the UK to set up his own new production company Time Media Consulting Ltd.
Wenders was once one of the largest shareholders in Das Werk, but his holding is now believed to be part of the 24% declared as belonging to management and family and is presumed to be less than 5% as otherwise would have to be separately disclosed.