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'Batman' Director Joel Schumacher Dies at 80 — Inside His Legacy

Olowokandi Fiyin
Jun 23, 2020
09:03 A.M.

Iconic director Joel Schumacher has passed away at the age of 80 after a long cancer battle. Jerome of his famous works includes “The Lost Boys” and “Batman.”

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The world has said goodbye to one of the brains behind the success of the “Batman” franchise, director Joel Schumacher.

Joel Schumacher at a Campari event during the 6th International Rome Film Festival at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on November 3, 2011 in Rome, Italy | Photo: Getty Images

Joel Schumacher at a Campari event during the 6th International Rome Film Festival at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on November 3, 2011 in Rome, Italy | Photo: Getty Images

After “Batman,” Schumacher went on to handle some other notable projects including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys,” “Flatliners,” “A Time to Kill,” amongst others.

According to Variety, the famous director passed away in New York on Monday after an extensive battle with cancer that lasted for a year. He was 80 years old. Schumacher was famous for his extraordinary work with “The Lost Boys” and two “Batman” films.

PERSONAL LIFE AND EARLY CAREER

Joel was born on August 29, 1939, in New York City to Francis and Marian Schumacher and schooled at Parsons, the New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

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Joel Schumacher at Day 1 of the Ischia Global Fest 2013 on July 13, 2013 in Ischia, Italy | Photo: Getty Images

Joel Schumacher at Day 1 of the Ischia Global Fest 2013 on July 13, 2013 in Ischia, Italy | Photo: Getty Images

After graduation, he worked in the fashion industry and branched into showb iz as a costume designer on stage plays. Some of his works include “Play It as It Lays,” “The Last of Sheila,” and Woody Allen’s “Sleeper.”

After serving as a costume designer for a while, he tried his hands on screenplays but didn’t get his directorial debut on television until 1974 with “Virginia Hall.”

After seven years, Schumacher made his first feature film with Lily Tomlin’s comedy, “The Incredible Shrinking,” per TV Guide.

Joel Schumacher at "Nightcap" Premiere Party at Crosby Street Hotel on November 15, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Joel Schumacher at "Nightcap" Premiere Party at Crosby Street Hotel on November 15, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

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JOEL’S BATMAN ERA

After some notable works, Schumacher bagged the role of director of the “Batman” franchise after Tim Burton left Warner Bros. He was only able to direct two movies in the entire franchise.

His first movie was “Batman Forever,” which starred Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Val Kilmer, and Nicole Kidman, and it grossed more than $300 million. For the movie, it was reported that Schumacher, who was openly gay, added nipples to the costume worn by Batman.

Joel Schumacher at the BAFTA New York Presents: "In Conversation With Hugh Dancy" at The Standard Highline on May 15, 2014 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Joel Schumacher at the BAFTA New York Presents: "In Conversation With Hugh Dancy" at The Standard Highline on May 15, 2014 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

In 1977, he directed “Batman and Robin,” which featured George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the 20th anniversary of the movie, Schumacher discussed his choice of actor, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

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He explained that after Kilmer decided he wasn’t returning as Batman, he went to Clooney’s home and asked him to do the part. Unfortunately, both movies made the lowest impact on the franchise according to Cinema Blend.

OTHER WORKS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

After “Batman,” Schumacher went on to handle some other notable projects including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys,” “Flatliners,” “A Time to Kill,” amongst others. He also directed some episodes in “House of Cards,” per IMDb.

Joel Schumacher at the 11th Annual Sesame Street Workshop Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 29, 2013 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Joel Schumacher at the 11th Annual Sesame Street Workshop Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 29, 2013 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

In 2010, he received a special award from the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography. Joel was also the recipient of the Distinguished Collaborator Award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards in 2011. May his soul rest in peace.

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