Joel Schumacher, director of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys,” “Falling Down,” and two Batman franchise movies, has died at age 80 after a year-long battle with cancer.
A New York native, Schumacher was a department store window dresser and costume designer before he began directing films, TV episodes and music videos. He did music videos for INXS, Smashing Pumpkins and Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” from “Batman Forever.” His screenplay work includes “Car Wash,” “D.C. Cab,” and adaptations of the Broadway musicals “The Wiz” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Schumacher’s other films include “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” “Flatliners,” “Flawless,” “8MM,” “Trespass,” and movie versions of John Grisham’s novels “The Client” and “A Time to Kill.” Most recently, he directed two episodes of Netflix’s “House of Cards” in 2013.
The son of a Jewish mother from Sweden and a Baptist father from Tennessee, Schumacher studied at Parsons the New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. In the 1970s, he designed costumes for “The Prisoner of Second Avenue,” “The Last of Sheila,” “Blume in Love,” and Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” and “Interiors.”
“I think I’m one of the luckiest people that ever lived. I got my dream. I got it so much bigger than even I could have dreamed it,” Schumacher once told the Hollywood Reporter. “I’m just a kid whose parents died very young who was on his own and grew up behind a movie theater before TV, and I wanted to tell those stories, and look what happened.”