Hollywood is mourning the loss of an influential and versatile filmmaker this week as Joel Schumacher has reportedly passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. His impressive career spanned four decades, highlighted by films like St. Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys in the ’80s as well as the divisive Batman Forever and Batman & Robin in the late ’90s. He always managed to adapt with the times and there is no question that he left a major impact on pop culture. He was 80 years old.
Joel Schumacher started his Hollywood career as a costume designer on a handful of films in the early ’70s including Woody Allen’s Sleeper and Interiors. He wrote screenplays for the musicals Sparkle and The Wiz before getting his first chance to direct on the 1981 comedy The Incredible Shrinking Woman starring Lily Tomlin. After his second film, D.C. Cab, he ended up delivering two huge hits with the Brat Pack films St. Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys, launching his career into the stratosphere.
In the early ’90s, Schumacher directed Flatliners and Falling Down as well as a couple of John Grisham legal thrillers (The Client and A Time to Kill). He inherited the Batman franchise from Tim Burton and directed a couple of poorly received sequels, but he eventually bounced back in the early 2000s with a couple of his best reviewed films: the war drama Tigerland and the high-concept Colin Farrell thriller Phone Booth. His final movie was 2011’s Trespass, although he did direct a couple of episodes of House of Cards as well. What are your favourite Joel Schumacher films?