Schumacher in Taormina during the Taormina Film Fest in 2003, for the Italian premiere of Phone Booth.
|Born||Joel T. Schumacher |
August 29, 1939
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Parsons The New School for Design|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Director, screenwriter, producer|
|Notable work(s)||The Lost Boys, Falling Down, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, A Time to Kill, 8mm, Tigerland, Phone Booth|
Joel T. Schumacher (born August 29, 1939) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.
 Early life
Schumacher was born in New York City, the son of Marian (née Kantor) and Francis Schumacher. His mother was a Swedish Jew, and his father was a Baptist from Knoxville, Tennessee, who died when Joel was four years old. Schumacher studied at Parsons The New School for Design and The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After first working in the fashion industry, he realized his true love was in filmmaking. He moved out to Los Angeles, where he began his media work as a costume designer in films such as Sleeper and developed his skills with television work while earning an MFA from UCLA.
Schumacher's first screenplay was for the musical drama Sparkle in 1976, which Schumacher had developed with Howard Rosenman before moving to Los Angeles. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1976 low-budget hit movie Car Wash and a number of other minor successes. He also wrote 1978's The Wiz, an adaptation of the stage play of the same name. His film directorial debut was The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, which starred Lily Tomlin, and he quickly made more successful films, including two "brat pack" works.
 The Brat Pack
St. Elmo's Fire and The Lost Boys, considered to be archetypal movies of the 1980s, were two of Schumacher's biggest hits. Their style impressed audiences and their financial success allowed studios to trust him with ever larger projects. He states in the director's commentary for St. Elmo's Fire that he resents the "Brat Pack" label, as he feels it misrepresents the group.
 John Grisham
Schumacher has directed two adaptations of John Grisham novels: The Client (1994) and A Time to Kill (1996). Grisham personally requested that Schumacher return to direct A Time to Kill.
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Schumacher later replaced Tim Burton as the director of the Batman film franchise due to the reaction by parental groups to Batman Returns (1992). He directed Batman Forever (1995), replacing Michael Keaton with Val Kilmer; the film scored the highest-grossing opening weekend of 1995, and finished as the second highest-grossing film of the year.
Inspired by this success, Warner Bros hired Schumacher to direct a sequel, Batman & Robin, in 1997. But after scathing reviews and a drop in ticket sales from the first film, Warner Bros put the series of movies on hiatus, canceling Schumacher's next planned Batman movie Batman Triumphant. On the DVD commentary, Schumacher has admitted that his movie disappointed fans of darker Batman adaptations, saying that the film was made intentionally marketable (or "toyetic") and kid-friendly. He claims to have been under heavy pressure from the studio to do so; however, he admits full responsibility and, at one point, apologizes to any fans who were disappointed. Schumacher, however, is a devoted Batman fan himself and actually would have personally preferred an adaptation of the comic Batman: Year One.
Schumacher also served as the director for the music videos of two songs appearing in the franchise, "Kiss from a Rose", by Seal and "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins (co-directed with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris).
 Post-Batman career
After back-to-back Grisham and Batman films, Schumacher decided to reinvent his career with darker, lower-budget fare like 8MM with Nicolas Cage, and Flawless with Robert De Niro. 8MM was entered into the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1999, Schumacher also directed the music video for "Letting the Cables Sleep" by English rock band Bush. In 2000, Schumacher directed the Vietnam-era boot camp drama Tigerland, which introduced Hollywood to a young Colin Farrell. Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as such: "Tigerland lands squarely in the top tier of best movies about America's Vietnam experience."
Schumacher returned to big-budget Hollywood with Bad Company starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock. The film was originally slated to be released in November 2001 but because of the September 11 attacks, it was pushed back to the summer of 2002 because of its theme about terrorist attacks in New York City. The film was panned by most critics and was a box office failure. In 2003, he released the controversial Phone Booth, which reteamed Schumacher with Farrell. The film was also delayed months not only due to 9/11, but later, the Beltway sniper attacks. It received generally positive reviews, earning a 71 percent "Fresh" rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Buoyed by Farrell's recently new-found fame, the film would earn $98.7 million worldwide.
Schumacher directed a film version of the musical The Phantom of the Opera in 2004, an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's original stage musical. Despite mixed reviews, the film earned $154.6 million worldwide (Schumacher's biggest hit of the 21st Century to date) and was nominated for three Academy Awards, as well as three Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy.
The director has since filmed The Number 23, which was a critical flop but a financial success.
 Recurring collaborators
Harry Gregson-Williams often composes the music for his movies and Mark Stevens often serves as editor.
 Actors and actresses
- The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
- D.C. Cab (a.k.a. Street Fleet) (1983) (also Writer)
- St. Elmo's Fire (1985) (also Writer)
- The Lost Boys (1987)
- Cousins (1989)
- Flatliners (1990)
- Dying Young (1991)
- Falling Down (1993)
- The Client (1994)
- Batman Forever (1995)
- A Time to Kill (1996)
- Batman & Robin (1997)
- 8mm (1999) (also Producer)
- Flawless (1999) (also Producer and Writer)
- Tigerland (2000)
- Bad Company (2002)
- Phone Booth (2003)
- Veronica Guerin (2003)
- The Phantom of the Opera (2004) (also Writer)
- The Number 23 (2007)
- Blood Creek (2009)
- Twelve (2010)
- Trespass (2011)
- Joel Schumacher Biography (1939-)
- Weinraub, Bernard (March 3, 1993). "With 'Falling Down,' Director Savors A New Success". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Joel Schumacher Biography at Yahoo! Movies
- "Long ago, when this whole thing started, Batman: Year One... was always my favorite, and I was always hoping that I would do that one. There was no desire to do that the first time around, and there was definitely no desire to do that the second time around." – Joel Schumacher, Shadows of the Bat Part 5: Reinventing a Hero, Batman Forever Special Edition DVD
- "Berlinale: 1999 Programme". berlinale.de. http://www.berlinale.de/en/archiv/jahresarchive/1999/02_programm_1999/02_Programm_1999.html. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- Phone Booth Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes
- SCARS ON BROADWAY Taps JOEL SCHUMACHER For 'World Long Gone' Video Shoot - Aug. 19, 2008
- Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage to co-star for first time in Trespass The Guardian. June 16, 2010
- "Gay directors bring home the bacon". The Advocate. May 13, 2003. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2007.
- Joel Schumacher, Peter MacGregor-Scott, Chris O'Donnell, Val Kilmer, Uma Thurman, John Glover, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Part 6-Batman Unbound, 2005, Warner Home Video
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