Joel Schumacher, Director Of Batman Films And ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ Dies At 80 – Joel Schumacher, who helmed “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys,” “Flatliners,” “A Time to Kill,” “Falling Down” and the lambasted “Batman & Robin,” has died.
Joel Schumacher, Director Of Batman Films And ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ Dies At 80 | Cause Of Death:
American writer-director Joel Schumacher died in New York City on Monday morning after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 80.
Schumacher, who directed some two dozen films during his career, was known for his body of work including “Batman Forever,” “Batman & Robin,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “A Time to Kill” and “Falling Down.”
Joel Schumacher signed up in the early ’90s to direct a series of “Batman” films. The first movie by Schumacher, “Batman Forever,” starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman, grossed more than $300 million worldwide.
Schumacher’s second and last film in the franchise was 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” with George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as villain Mr. Freeze.
He’d go on to direct a film adaptation of the musical “The Phantom of the Opera” in 2004 starring Scottish actor Gerard Butler.
Joel Schumacher’s “The Phantom of the Opera” earned 3 Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Original Song.
The film also earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy – Motion Picture.
Joel Schumacher, Director Of Two Batman & Brat Pack Pics, ‘Falling Down’ And ‘Lost Boys,’ Died From Cancer:
Joel Schumacher developed a reputation for spotting young talent, casting stars like Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Matthew McConaughey and Brad Renfro in their first major screen roles. He directed some of Hollywood’s most in-demand stars, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Michael Douglas, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Anthony Hopkins, and Susan Sarandon.
Schumacher was born in the Queens, New York neighborhood of Long Island City on Aug. 29, 1939. He first studied at Parsons The New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, but after working in the fashion industry, he realized he loved filmmaking. He moved to Los Angeles where he began his career working as a costume designer in films like Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” and “Interiors.”
Joel Schumacher’s first screenplay was 1976’s musical drama “Sparkle,” which he developed with Howard Rosenman. His other screenwriting credits include 1976’s “Car Wash” and 1979’s “The Wiz.”
Schumacher’s directorial debut came in 1981 with “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” which starred Lily Tomlin and showed off surprising color schemes and a striking design.
Schumacher rose to stardom with “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys” and “Flatliners.” He also adapted two John Grisham adaptations — “The Client” in 1994 and “A Time to Kill” in 1996. He also earned critical acclaim for “Falling Down” and “8mm.”
Schumacher also was in the director’s chair for some high-profile music videos including Seal’s chart-topping hit “Kiss from a Rose,” from 1995’s Batman Forever, and INXS’ “Devil Inside” (1988).
Joel Schumacher was openly gay throughout his career in Hollywood.