Joel Schumacher dies at 80 after year-long battle with cancer

The Lost Boys and Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher dies at 80 after a year-long battle with cancer

  • Acclaimed Hollywood director Joel Schumacher is dead at 80 after a year-long battle with cancer
  • Schumacher ‘passed away quietly from cancer this morning after a year-long battle’ in New York City, his spokesperson confirmed Monday
  • The director hit the big time after directing a string of successful movies including Flatliners (1990), The Lost Boys (1987), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
  • He famously took over the Batman franchise from director Tim Burton with the two box-office smashes Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997) 

Acclaimed film director Joel Schumacher has died at age 80, it has been reported. 

A spokesperson confirmed that Schumacher – who directed Batman Forever among many other films – died in New York City on Monday morning, after a suffering year-long battle with cancer. 

A statement read: ‘Filmmaker Joel Schumacher, director of such films as ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’, ‘A Time to Kill’, ‘The Client’, and ‘Tigerland’, passed away quietly from cancer this morning after a year-long battle. He will be fondly remembered by his friends and collaborators.’ 

Hollywood royalty: Director Joel Schumacher – pictured here in 2013 – has died at age 80, after a battle with cancer. Schumacher died Monday morning in New York, it was reported. 

Schumacher famously took over the Batman franchise from director Tim Burton with the two box-office smashes Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997) although the films were less favorable with critics.

However, Schumacher had an impressive career in Hollywood overall, directing classic films such as Flatliners (1990), The Lost Boys (1987), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985).

His first movie was directing Lily Tomlin in the sci-fi comedy The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, which received positive reviews. 

But it was his string of success directing three hit movies, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys, and Flatliners that propelled him to being one of Hollywood’s most sought-after directors.  


Schumacher famously took over the Batman franchise from director Tim Burton with the two box-office smashes Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997) although the films were less favorable with critics.

Classic: Schumacher rose to fame directed hit ’80s films such as the cult classic The Lost Boys (1987)

Classic cinema: Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe St Elmo’s Fire (1985) directed by Joel Schumacher

Unsurprisingly, tributes from A-List Hollywood stars poured out on Monday, expressing their grief at Schumacher’s passing. 

Ben Stiller paid tribute on Twitter saying: ‘He was kind, talented and made movies we went to the theaters for. A true professional, and a magnetic presence.’

Bill & Ted actor Alex Winter, who worked with Schumacher on The Lost Boys, tweeted: ‘Joel was a creative genius; a master at clothing design, costuming, writing and of course directing.’

Tributes: Emmy Rossum – who was directed by Schumacher in the Oscar-nominated The Phantom of the Opera (2014) – said she was ‘in tears’ leaning of his passing.

A-List: Ben Stiller, who did not work with the director, re-tweeted a tribute from The Lost Boys star Alex Winter

He added: ‘Joel saw something in me as an actor I didn’t see and gave me the confidence and space to pursue it. Unfairly savaged by critics his entire career, his great work will live on. 

Emmy Rossum – who was directed by Schumacher in the Oscar-nominated The Phantom of the Opera (2014) – said she was ‘in tears’ leaning of his passing. 

She continued: ‘He was one of a kind. Creative. Intense. Passionate. He played a huge part in the shaping of my life. I don’t have the words right now.’ 

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