Joel Schumacher


Joel T. Schumacher (August 29, 1939 – June 22, 2020) was an American filmmaker. He made his directorial debut with The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), with Lily Tomlin; followed by D.C. Cab (1983), with Max Gail, Adam Baldwin, Mr. T, Charlie Barnett, Gary Busey, Marsha Warfield, and Whitman Mayo. He rose to fame after directing three hit films: St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), with Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare Winningham; The Lost Boys (1987), with Corey Haim, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes; and Cousins (1989), with Ted Danson, Isabella Rossellini, Sean Young, William Petersen, Keith Coogan, Lloyd Bridges, and Norma Aleandro.

Films in the 1990s include Flatliners (1990), with Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon; Dying Young (1991), with Roberts and Campbell Scott with Vincent D’Onofrio, Colleen Dewhurst, David Selby, and Ellen Burstyn; Falling Down (1993), with Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall; The Client (1994), with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones; and A Time to Kill (1996), Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Ashley Judd, and Sutherland. and 8mm (1999), with Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, and Anthony Heald. Both Falling Down and 8mm competed for the Palme d’Or and Golden Bear.

In 1993, he signed on to direct the next installments of the Batman film series, Batman Forever (1995), with Val Kilmer, Chris O’Donnell, Jones, Jim Carrey, and Nicole Kidman; and Batman & Robin (1997), with George Clooney, O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, and Alicia Silverstone. After the Batman films, Schumacher pulled back from blockbusters and returned to making minimalist films such as Flawless (1999), with Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Tigerland (2000), with Colin Farrell; and Phone Booth (2003), Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Radha Mitchell, and Sutherland; earning positive reviews.

Other films of the 2000s include Bad Company (2002), with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins; Veronica Guerin (2003), with Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Ciarán Hinds, Brenda Fricker, and Amy Shiels; The Phantom of the Opera (2004), with Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, and Jennifer Ellison; The Number 23 (2007), with Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman, and Danny Huston; Blood Creek (2009), with Michael Fassbender, Dominic Purcell, and Henry Cavill; Twelve (2010), with Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Curtis Jackson, Emily Meade, Emma Roberts, and Erik Per Sullivan; and Trespass (2011), with Cage, Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade, and Nico Tortorella.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Play It as It Lays (1972) – costume designer, directed by Frank Perry
  • The Last of Sheila (1973) – costume designer, directed by Herbert Ross
  • Blume in Love (1973) – costume designer, directed by Paul Mazursky
  • Sleeper (1973) – costume designer, directed by Woody Allen
  • Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) – costume designer, directed by Melvin Frank
  • Sparkle (1976) – directed by Sam O’Steen – co-writer
  • Car Wash (1976) – directed by Michael Schultz – writer
  • Interiors (1978) – costume designer, directed by Woody Allen
  • The Wiz (1978) – directed by Sidney Lumet – writer
  • The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) – director
  • D.C. Cab (1983) – director, writer, co-story
  • St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) – director, co-writer
  • The Lost Boys (1987) – director
  • Cousins (1989) – director
  • Flatliners (1990) – director
  • Dying Young (1991) – director
  • Falling Down (1993) – director
  • The Client (1994) – director
  • Batman Forever (1995)* – director
  • A Time to Kill (1996) – director
  • Batman & Robin (1997)* – director
  • 8mm (1999) – director
  • Flawless (1999) – director, writer
  • Tigerland (2000) – director
  • Bad Company (2002) – director
  • Phone Booth (2003)* – director
  • Veronica Guerin (2003) – director
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004) – director, co-writer
  • The Number 23 (2007) – director
  • Blood Creek (2009) – director
  • Twelve (2010) – director
  • Man in the Mirror (2011) – director – short
  • Trespass (2011) – director