Joel Schumacher: Batman Forever Director Dies At 80

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Joel Schumacher, the Hollywood director behind Batman Forever and The Lost Boys died on Monday. Schumacher was struggling with cancer aged 80. His successful career as a film-maker, included several classics including St Elmo’s Fire, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, and The Lost Boys, died of cancer.

His publicist shared the sad news of his death with media in a public statement yesterday. As per The Guardian report, the statement said that the Batman Forever Director “passed away quietly.” I further added that he will be fondly remembered by his friends and collaborators.

Joel Schumacher’s Journey To Films and Film-Making

Joel Schumacher had initially started with the fashion industry. Later, he joined the film business as a costume designer for Woody Allen’s Sleeper and Interiors. He wrote his first screenplay for a musical drama entitled Sparkle in 1976. The musical drama had initially starred Irene Cara and was also remade later with Whitney Houston. Schumacher had debuted as a director with “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” in 1981.

Joel’s first hit was St Elmo’s Fire, a Brat Pack drama in 1985. It eventually lead him to direct the Teen classic, The Lost Boys which brought him further acclaim in 1987.  In the 1990s, he worked on the romantic drama Dying Young as well as a supernatural thriller Flatliners. In 1993 came his most acclaimed film Falling Down with Michael Douglas.

Moreover, he also directed The Client and A Time to Kill in the same decade. Furthermore, he also entered the Batman franchise with “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin”. His other cinematic pieces include Tigerland, Phone Booth as well as a Jim Carrey horror The Number 23. Joel Schumacher made his last movie in 2011, the Trespass. However, he directed two episodes of the show, “House of Cards” for his friend David Fincher in 2013.

Tributes pour in for Joel Schumacher

Ever since the news of his death broke out, many of his friends and colleagues shared tributes for the man expressing grief and recollecting memories. Corey Feldman, who had acted in his hit cult classic, The Lost Boys, tweeted: “JOEL U R A BEAUTIFUL SOUL & U WILL B MISSED! (sic.)”

Actor Minnie Driver tweeted, “#JoelSchumacher was the funniest, chicest, most hilarious director I ever worked with.” She further shared an anecdote with the late director, “Once,on set, an actress was complaining about me within earshot; how I was dreadfully over the top (I was)Joel barely looked up from his NYT+said “Oh Honey, no one ever paid to see under the top”

Actor Emmy Rossum, who had starred in his 2004 adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera said, “I am in tears learning of Joel Schumacher’s passing. He was a force. He was one of kind. Creative. Intense. Passionate. He played a huge part in the shaping of my life. I don’t have the right words right now.”

Playwright Beau Willimon also posted on Twitter, “I was lucky enough to work with Joel Schumacher. Smart, funny, talented. A true iconoclast. And he could hold court and tell a story like no other. RIP Joel.”

Ben Stiller tweeted, “He was kind, talented and made movies we went to the theaters for. A true professional, and a magnetic presence.”

Schumacher had once said in retrospection about his career in film, “I think I’m one of the luckiest people that ever lived. I got my dream. I got it so much bigger than even I could have dreamed it.”

He further added, “You know, I’m just a kid whose parents died very young who was on his own and grew up behind a movie theatre before TV, and I wanted to tell those stories, and look what happened.”

Notably, many of his films were commercially successful making over $1billion (combined) globally. However, he could not garner much critical acclaim and critics weren’t always kind to him. During a 2019 interview, Schumacher had remarked, “My success annoyed a lot of people always. Maybe they thought I didn’t deserve it.”

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