Joel Schumacher, Director of Batman Forever and The Lost Boys, Dies at 80

Costume designer-turned-director Joel Schumacher has died aged 80 following a year-long battle with cancer.

Joel Schumacher has died aged 80.

The iconic film director — who was best known for his work on St Elmo's Fire and The Lost Boys — has passed away at the age of 80 following a year-long battle with cancer, his spokesperson has confirmed.

In a statement on Monday (June 22, 2020), the spokesperson said: "Filmmaker Joel Schumacher, director of such films as St. Elmo's Fire, A Time to Kill, The Client, and Tigerland, passed away quietly from cancer this morning after a year-long battle. He will be fondly remembered by his friends and collaborators."

Schumacher was also known for his work on two Batman movies, 1995's Batman Forever and 1997's Batman and Robin.  

The filmmaker — who was openly gay — joined the Warner Bros. Caped Crusader series when Tim Burton exited the franchise after two enormously successful films, but was accused of introducing homoerotic elements to the relationship between titular characters Batman and Robin.

Speaking about Batman and Robin in 2017, Schumacher said: "I want to apologise to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that."

Following the debacle, Schumacher went on to direct the feature adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera, which scored three Oscar nominations.

Most recently, the director helmed a couple of episodes of Netflix series House of Cards in 2013, and worked as an executive producer for the ID channel series Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors.

When asked in a 1999 interview if he had any advice for young filmmakers, he said: "Be bold, take risks, follow your own instincts, listen to other people only when you really believe in your gut that they're right. Get a great cast. Get a cinematographer that isn't jealous that you're the director. Get an editor that's not jealous you're the director. You can do it."

Kiefer Sutherland, who starred in The Lost Boys and Phone Booth, paid his respects to Schumacher, one of his "dearest friends and partners in filmmaking" on Twitter. "His  joy, spirit and talent” would continue to live in the actor’s heart and memory," Sutherland wrote. 

Elsewhere, Rob Lowe, who starred in St Elmo's Fire, in a statement sent to Variety, said, "Joel saw things Joel saw things others could not. When casting St Elmo’s Fire, everyone thought I should play the yuppie, but Joel knew I could play the Bad Boy. He was hilarious. He had extraordinary taste. The images from his films are timeless snapshots of their era. He was a larger than life original; I will never forget him.”

Jim Carrey, who worked with Schumacher on Batman Forever and The Number 23, tweeted: “He saw deeper things in me than most and he lived a wonderfully creative and heroic life. I am grateful to have had him as a friend.”

 Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson, the stars of The Phantom of the Opera, also took to Twitter to share their memories with the director.

 

 — BANG

Photos: TPG News/Click Photos

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