Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher's first passion was fashion. Growing up in New York City led him to attend The New School and The Fashion Institute of Technology, which guided him right to a career in the field. That wasn't enough, though, and as he went through his 20s, Schumacher realized he wanted to work in film. Leaving New York City, he went west to California, getting his start in the industry as a costume designer first with "Play It As It Lays" (1972) and then with the Woody Allen movies "Sleeper" (1973) and "Interiors" (1978). He worked his way into screenwriting with "Sparkle" (1976) and "The Wiz" (1978). After a decade working his way into the world of film, Schumacher landed his first feature director role, working with star Lily Tomlin in "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981). His work in the '80s was defined mostly by his biggest hits of the decade, the Brat Pack-starring "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) and the cult horror flick "The Lost Boys" (1987). Schumacher's '90s work was filled with variety, making everything from cult thrillers like "Flatliners" (1990) to John Grisham adaptations "The Client" (1994) and "A Time to Kill" (1996). Most notably, he took over the Batman mantle from Tim Burton, directing the successful Batman Forever (1995) and infamous series-stunting bomb "Batman & Robin" (1997). After the critical drubbing his Batman work took, Schumacher worked on smaller, low budget films such as the Nicholas Cage-starring "8MM" (1999). He slowly worked his way back to bigger budgets, with highlights being the musical "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004) and the Colin Farrell-starring "Phone Booth" (2002). He slowed down his pace as he got into his 70s, with his biggest work being the Nicholas Cage and Nicole Kidman-starring "Trespass" (2011) and a few episodes of "House of Cards" (Netflix 2013-). Joel Schumacher died on June 22, 2020 in New York, NY at the age of 80, a year after being diagnosed with cancer.