Joel Schumacher Dies; Beloved Director of Batman Films Was 80

Sad news out of Hollywood today, as legendary director Joel Schumacher has passed away at the age of 80.

A statement from his publicist revealed that Schumacher died quietly this morning after a year-long battle with cancer.

Schumacher directed more than twenty films during his 40 year career, but he is probably best remembered for a string of blockbusters in the late ’80s and 1990s.

Schumacher first gained mainstream attention with the 1985 “Brat Pack” hit St. Elmo’s Fire.

He followed that up with another hit starring some of the top young talents of the ’80s, the teen vampire sage The Lost Boys.

The start of the 1990s found Schumacher at the height of his popularity.

Films like Flatliners, The Client, and A Time to Kill established him as one of the most bankable filmmakers on the planet.

But it was the mega-budget superhero sequels Batman Forever and Batman and Robin that made Schumacher a household name.

His campy approach to the source material elicited a mixed response from audiences at the time, but both films have accrued a cult status in the decades since their release.

It’s a testament to Schumacher’s versatility as a filmmaker that Twitter tributes from friends, fans, and collaborators often sound as though they’re talking about entirely different directors.

“Joel Schumacher has died and I know everyone’s going to talk about his Batman movies, but I cannot overstate how much I loved St. Elmo’s Fire and, even more, The Lost Boys back in the day. RIP, sir,” tweeted critic Jen Chaney.

“Joel Schumacher is *so* much more than a ‘Batman director,” film and TV writer Toby Earle echoed.

But perhaps even more impressive than the odes to Schumacher’s talent are the testaments to what a kind and humble person he was.

“He was such a kind man. At the start of my writing career a script of mine was sent to him, although he passed, he took the time to send an actual letter,” screenwriter Thomas Johnson recalled.

“For a new writer that meant everything. It’s still framed on my wall.”

Our thoughts go out to Schumacher’s loved ones during this difficult time.

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