Joel Schumacher, a wonderfully eccentric filmmaker who blessed the world with many poppy, pulpy and punchy films over the last few decades, has sadly lost his battle with Cancer.
While known to most as the helmer of “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin” (say what you will, Schumacher injected a sense of fun into the series), Schumacher’s filmography is an all-encompassing, varied mix of product – ranging from solid teen horror films (“The Lost Boys”, “Flatliners”) to thrilling dramas (“Falling Down”, “The Client”, “A Time to Kill”, “Veronica Guerin”), character-driven war films (“Tigerland”), musicals (“Phantom of the Opera”), comedies (“D.C Cab”) and the frickin’ beautiful ode to ’80s romance (and bromance) “St Elmo’s Fire” – which helped introduce the world to the Brat Pack.
The costume-designer-turned filmmaker, 80, was also responsible for “Flawless” “8MM”, “Phone Booth”, “Bad Company”, “The Number 23” and “A Time to Kill”, which offered then-unknown Matthew McConaughey his big break.
In an exclusive statement to Variety, McConaughey reflects on the big break Schumacher gave him and thanks the director for kickstarting his career:
“Joel not only took a chance on me, he fought for me. Knowing the studio might never approve a relatively unknown like myself for the lead in ‘A Time to Kill,’ he set up a secret screen test for me on a Sunday morning in a small unknown studio because as he stated, ‘Even if you do great, you may not get the part, so I don’t want the industry to ever think you screen tested and DID NOT get the job.’ I remember on days where I would be having a tough time on the set, he would always remind me with the most simple and sound advice a director could give a young man, ‘Hey, you are Jake Brigance. You, Matthew, are the character.’ I don’t see how my career could have gone to the wonderful places it has if it wasn’t for Joel Schumacher believing in me back then.”
Schumacher was also known for his work on music videos, with INXS’ “Devil Inside” one of the highlights on his CV.
— Kiefer Sutherland (@RealKiefer) June 22, 2020
Joel Schumacher has passed away. He saw deeper things in me than most and he lived a wonderfully creative and heroic life. I am grateful to have had him as a friend. pic.twitter.com/7kOeJ96rL8
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 22, 2020
#JoelSchumacher was the funniest, chicest, most hilarious director I ever worked with. Once,on set,an actress was complaining about me within earshot; how I was dreadfully over the top (I was)Joel barely looked up from his NYT+said “Oh Honey,no one ever paid to see under the top”
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) June 23, 2020
IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS 2DAY I MUST ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF A LEGENDARY DIRECTOR, A FRIEND, AN INFLUENCE, & A SUPPORTER #RIPJOELSCHUMACHER Joel Schumacher Dead: ‘Batman and Robin,’ ‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ ‘Flatliners’ Director Was 80 | Hollywood Reporter https://t.co/GXL56B8KDc
— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) June 22, 2020
I am in tears learning of Joel Schumacher’s passing. He was a force. He was one of kind. Creative. Intense. Passionate. He played a huge part in the shaping of my life. I don’t have the right words right now.
— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) June 22, 2020