Movies

Friends And Fans Mourn The Passing Of ‘Batman’ Films Director Joel Schumacher

On Monday, news broke that filmmaker Joel Schumacher had passed away at the age of 80. He had a long career, going back to the early ’70s, when he was a costume designer on films like Woody Allen’s Sleeper, before becoming a screenwriter (his credits include Car Wash and The Wiz) and eventually a director. As such, he amassed many friends, collaborators, and fans, many of whom took to social media to mourn his passing.

Let’s start with Kiefer Sutherland, who appeared in both Schumacher’s ’80s sexy young adult vampire movie The Lost Boys as well as his medical horror Flatliners.

Speaking of The Lost Boys, another of its stars, Corey Feldman, mourned him while making it clear that Schumacher, who was openly gay and quite prolific with his partners, was not one of the people in the industry he’s alleged abused him and others.

Schumacher had a diverse CV, ranging from Brat Pack movies (St. Elmo’s Fire) to vigilante movies (Falling Down) to John Grisham movies (The Client) to two separate comic book movies, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, which took a more camp approach to the crime fighter than Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan. Jim Carrey played the Riddler in Forever, as well as starred in 2007’s The Number 27.

Emmy Rossum, meanwhile, broke into movies by co-starring in Schumacher’s 2004 adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera.

Schumacher wasn’t only mourned by collaborators. He inspired other filmmakers as well, such as Rian Johnson, who took time to salute his costume designs on a favorite of his: the star-studded 1973 murder mystery The Last of Sheila, written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins.

Kevin Smith never worked with him but, as a-number one comic book fan, he did get to meet him.

Michael McKean also never worked with him, but he had kind words as well.

Elsewhere, people pointed to Schumacher’s colorful commentary track on Batman and Robin, in which he confesses to have wanted to make a darker movie but was blocked by Warner Bros., who wanted to sell toys.

Schumacher’s lighting style, especially on his neon-heavy Batman movies, got some love.

Others praised him for essentially smuggling what was essentially queer cinema into the summer movie season.

And others pointed to what appears to have effectively been Schumacher’s exit interview, aka the delightfully frank one he gave to Vulture in August of 2019. What a life, indeed.

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