It’s a sad day for Bat-fans, as director Joel Schumacher died Monday after a year’s bout with cancer.
Schumacher succeeded Tim Burton in the Batman film anthology franchise with 1995’s Batman Forever, where Val Kilmer took on the Caped Crusader mantle of protecting the citizens of Gotham from the lethal combination of the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Harvey Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) with the aid of Robin (Chris O’Donnell). Not only that, Bruce Wayne and Batman can finally learn to co-exist thanks to the beautiful Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). A complete departure from the Burton films with Michael Keaton, Batman Forever brought more light and humor, and became a summer blockbuster.
The film spawned 1997’s Batman & Robin, which became more and more like the live-action 1960s television series with George Clooney as the Bright Knight alongside O’Donnell’s Boy Wonder. Joined by Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, the Dynamic Duo became the Terrific Trio against Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Infamous for the Bat-nipples, Batman & Robin is known being cheesy and completely over-the-top, and was hailed as the film that almost killed that the Batman franchise.
Schumacher also directed the 1985 Brat Pack classic St. Elmo’s Fire; 1987’s The Lost Boys with Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, and Kiefer Sutherland in the story of a family moving to a California town ruled by vampires, and 1990’s Flatliners with Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Kevin Bacon about medical students and their experiences with the afterlife. Schumacher’s other works includes the big-screen adaptations of author John Grisham’s The Client (1994) and A Time to Kill (1996), where the latter launched the career of Matthew McConaughey.
Joel Schumacher was 80 years old.