“Batman Forever” Director Joel Schumacher Dead At 80
Eclectic director Joel Schumacher is dead at the age of 80 after a year-long battle with cancer.
A spokesperson for his family Bebe Lerner confirmed his death in a statement.
His career ranged from a pair of divisive Batman movies to “St. Elmo’s Fire.” He also directed thrillers like “A Time to Kill.” “Phone Booth,” “Trespass.” Some of his other well-known works include the teen vampire tale “The Lost Boys,” the Julia Roberts melodrama “Dying Young,” and the dark satire “Falling Down.”
However, he is best known to many for his works on the Batman franchise as he directed “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin.” He made bold choices with these movies as he took a notable tonal departure from the darker approach that director Tim Burton brought to those movies.
Schumacher was born on August 29, 1939 in Queens. His father, a Baptist from Knoxville, Tenn., died when Joel was 4. Schumacher attended the Parsons School of Design at New School University and had worked as a window dresser before coming to Hollywood as a costume designer, including an early job on the Woody Allen science-fiction comedy “Sleeper.”
Schumacher became a writer in the 1970s — including scripts for “The Wiz” and “Car Wash” — before launching his career as a director with a pair of TV movies, followed by “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” starring Lily Tomlin, and “D.C. Cab.”
Schumacher developed a reputation for identifying young talent, as exemplified by the ensemble casts on “St. Elmo’s” and “Lost Boys,” which included Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Kiefer Sutherland.
In an interview with Vulture last year, Schumacher who was gay discussed his life and career.
At his death, Schumacher lived in Greenwich Village.