Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthAugust 29, 1939
MarkFrequently casts Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Colin Farrell
FactWell before she became famous Schumacher shared an apartment with writer/journalist Liz Smith.

Joel Schumacher (born August 29, 1939) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for directing The Lost Boys (1987), Flatliners (1990), Batman Forever (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), and Phone Booth (2002).

Schumacher was born in New York City, the son of Marian (née Klein) and Francis Schumacher. His mother was a homemaker, and his father was a clothing manufacturer. He has a sister, Judy, and a brother, Fred. He grew up in the Bronx.

Schumacher attended the High School of Music and Art, where he was a classmate of future director Martin Scorsese. He then studied at the Art Students League of New York.

Schumacher’s first job in the film industry was as a costume designer for the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair. He then worked as an assistant director on several films, including Woody Allen’s Sleeper (1973) and Interiors (1978).

In the 1980s, Schumacher wrote and directed two films that were critical and commercial failures: Dressed to Kill (1980) and The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981). He then had a string of box office successes with The Lost Boys (1987), Flatliners (1990), and Batman Forever (1995).

A Time to Kill (1996) was a critical and commercial success, and earned Schumacher a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director. His next film, Batman & Robin (1997), was a critical and commercial failure.

In 2000, Schumacher directed Tigerland, a film about the Vietnam War. The film was a critical success but was not a box office hit.

In 2002, Schumacher directed Phone Booth, a thriller starring Colin Farrell. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 2004, Schumacher directed The Phantom of the Opera, a musical based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 2005, Schumacher directed Batman Begins, a reboot of the Batman franchise. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 2008, Schumacher directed The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 2010, Schumacher directed Stone, a thriller starring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. The film was a critical and commercial failure.

In 2011, Schumacher directed Trespass, a thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. The film was a critical and commercial failure.

In 2013, Schumacher directed Twelve, a drama about drug addiction starring Chace Crawford and Emma Roberts. The film was a critical and commercial failure.

In 2014, Schumacher directed The Client List, a television movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 2015, Schumacher directed 5 Flights Up, a drama starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. The film was a critical and commercial success.

Schumacher has been married three times: first to Maya Linna from 1971 to 1978; then to Christine Forsyth-Peters from 1987 to 1995; and currently to Kristiina Rokas since 2002. He has three children: Rachel Linna-Schumacher, Jake Schumacher, and Gia Schumacher.

Schumacher has been nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Director for A Time to Kill (1996) and Best Picture for The Phantom of the Opera (2004). He has also been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards: Best Director for A Time to Kill (1996), Best Picture for The Phantom of the Opera (2004), and Best Picture for Batman Begins (2005).

General Info

Full NameJoel Schumacher
Date Of BirthAugust 29, 1939
Height1.91 m
ProfessionScreenwriter, Television producer, Film producer, Film director, Costume designer, Television Director
EducationFashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, University of California, Los Angeles


ParentsMarian Schumacher, Francis Schumacher


NominationsGolden Bear, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding New Approaches – Daytime Entertainment, Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
MoviesBatman & Robin, Batman Forever, The Lost Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Falling Down, Phone Booth, A Time to Kill, Flatliners, 8mm, The Client, Trespass, St. Elmo's Fire, The Number 23, Tigerland, Twelve, Veronica Guerin, Flawless, Bad Company, Dying Young, Blood Creek, The Incredible Shrinking Wom...

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Often casts Colin Farrell
2Often uses lots of sharp colors in his films
3His movies will have scenes set at Halloween (St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Flatliners (1990) and Batman Forever (1995)).
4Frequently casts Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Colin Farrell
5His characters are often people who take matter into their own hands (Batman Forever (1995), 8MM (1999), Falling Down (1993), Flawless (1999)).
6His movies will have scenes in a seedy grocery store (Flatliners (1990), Falling Down (1993), A Time to Kill (1996)).


1(on meeting Julia Roberts in a 1993 interview for "Premiere") When Julia walked into my house in these cut-off jeans, no make-up, barefoot, her hair piled up on her head, I did know one thing: I knew I had never met anyone like her. I thought, "How did I live without knowing this girl."
2The question I always get is, 'How do you know these young people are going to be stars?' You don't. You just know there is no one like them. If Julia Roberts walked into your office at 20 and you didn't hire her, you shouldn't be in the movie business.
3The basis of St. Elmo's Fire (1985) is there's a group of people. Everyone had their group and you always think you're going to be best friends forever. But life comes in. So, can you be best friends forever? It touches on universal themes.
48MM (1999) would never get made today. I think it's a really bold, really controversial film - as are a lot of my films.
5[on the young characters in St. Elmo's Fire (1985) compared to today's young people] In St. Elmo's Fire (1985), they were expected to have huge careers and become very accomplished. It was the year of Reaganomics. I think many kids are still expected of that, but they grow up much sooner, and they're bombarded by the Internet, the blogs, the Facebook, the media, the celebration of badly behaved famous figures - bad behavior has become expected. And these are kids with bad parenting.
6(on Batman & Robin (1997)) "If there's anyone that let's say loved Batman Forever and went into Batman & Robin with great anticipation, if I disappointed them in anyway, then I really want to apologize, cause it wasn't my intention. My intention was just to entertain them".
7Akiva Goldsman was blamed a lot for this sort of lightness and humor and fun and games of "Batman & Robin" but that's not fair. I take full responsibility. I mean Akiva did write the script but I shot it and worked with Akiva, so you know, if you love a movie, there are hundreds of people who made it lovable for you. If you don't like it, blame the director. That what our name's there for.
8I think people always think success in show business gives them the right to be moral political arbiters. I'm not in that camp. I think you can privately do whatever you want, but I'm always suspicious of how much ego is involved. I think the government will survive no matter what Ed Norton thinks of it.
9Sometimes I'm asked if there's homophobia in Hollywood. There's homophobia everywhere on Planet Earth, just like there's racism and sexism and anti-Semitism, and such stupidity isn't checked at the gate at the movie studio. But the difference in show business is, if you can make money for people they don't care what you do. They don't care if you screw yaks in the middle of the street. They'll even buy you a yak. They'll give you their yaks.
10Probably no country has spent as much money as my country on drug wars and I'm not sure who's winning except for the drug dealers. is show business and it's more business now than it is show because all the studios now are owned by huge conglomerates and corporations, unlike the old Hollywood where everybody knew each other by their first names.
12Well, here's the problem. If you accept a lot of money to do a film in Hollywood and you have a huge budget, they're going to expect a lot of asses in seats, as you would if you had to write a cheque for a lot of money. You want your money back; it's a business. If you work on a small budget with stars who are willing to cut prices and do interesting work with you, they'll take a risk on a smaller budget because they figure, "Well, maybe with video and DVD we'll make our money back."
13The surreal images in some of my films have been blamed on my drug days, I've heard that from certain sources. I don't know ... it's pretty far behind me now and that was quite a while ago. That was my path and when you come to terms with being a drug addict and an alcoholic, you realise that it's all about you.
14Yes, but you'd be surprised how many people didn't know who Philip Seymour Hoffman was. Only if you said, "the fat guy in Boogie Nights" would people know who you were talking about because they didn't know his name then.
15On directing "8mm": "It was fun to get it. No, nobody wanted to touch it. I don't think they could get anyone stupid enough to direct it, other than me. A lot of people were afraid of it. A lot of people don't want to go to a place like that as a director. They want everyone to love them."
16The only good advice you can give anyone is the witness of what you have learned in your own life. If I were living with someone and confused about whether I should be staying with them, it usually means I should be leaving. Because when you're really happy, you don't sit around thinking, 'Should I leave?'
17"Val did me two great favors. When I wanted him to be Batman, he said yes. Then he created a situation which allowed me not to have him play Batman again. They were both happy, happy instances, for which I will always be grateful." -- Premiere magazine (April 1997), in an article on Val Kilmer.
18I am one of Lars von Trier's fans and like the Dogma movement
19(1997) "I felt I disappointed a lot of older fans by being too conscious of the family aspect.... Now, I owe the hardcore fans the Batman movie they would love me to give them."


1Friends with David Fincher.
2He was the first and only choice to direct 'The Phantom Of The Opera (2004)' and had been since the project was first started. Andrew Lloyd Webber had chosen him after being impressed by his use of music in 'The Lost Boys (1987)'.
3Well before she became famous Schumacher shared an apartment with writer/journalist Liz Smith.
4Schumaker has cited David Lean's "Great Expectations" as having a tremendous influence on him.
5Stated in an interview with Variety magazine that 'Great Expectations (1946)' haunted him as a child and inspired him to be a director.
6Worked in the Fashion Industry before pursuing film as a career.
7He is a lifelong Batman fan and wanted to adapt Frank Miller's famous ''Batman: Year One'' comic but was forced by producers to make a lighter, more family friendly film.
8Did not decide to pursue a career in film making until he was in his early thirties.
9Directed one Oscar nominated performance: Susan Sarandon in The Client (1994).
10Was originally attached to direct Runaway Jury (2003), having previously filmed two other John Grisham adaptations, The Client (1994) and A Time to Kill (1996).
11On the interviews and audio commentary for the Batman & Robin (1997) 2-Disc Special Edition DVD released in 2005, he says that he was under pressure from toy companies and Warner Brothers management to deliver a family-friendly film and admits he went too far in that direction, but takes full responsibility for the end result and, at one point during the interviews, flat-out apologizes to fans that were disappointed.
12Shares a birthday with directors Lord Richard Attenborough and William Friedkin.
13Long ago, attended Parsons School of Design at New School University (New York), and in 2006, bought condo practically around the corner in Greenwich Village's popular 25 Fifth Avenue apartment building.
14Worked as a store window dresser before getting into films.
15His mother is Swedish.
16Directed the music video "Devil Inside" performed by INXS.
17Directed the music video "The End is the Beginning is the End" performed by Smashing Pumpkins.




House of Cards2013TV Series 2 episodes
The Killing Floor: Star Baby2012Video short
Man in the Mirror2011Short
Blood Creek2009
Choose or Lose2008TV Special
The Number 232007
The Phantom of the Opera2004
I'm Only Looking: The Best of INXS2004Video documentary video "Devil Inside"
Veronica Guerin2003
Phone Booth2002
Bad Company2002
Batman & Robin1997
A Time to Kill1996
Batman Forever1995
The Client1994
Falling Down1993
2000 Malibu Road1992TV Series 5 episodes
Dying Young1991
INXS: Kick: The Video Flick1988Video short documentary video "Devil Inside"
The Lost Boys1987
St. Elmo's Fire1985
D.C. Cab1983
The Incredible Shrinking Woman1981
Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill1979TV Movie
Virginia Hill1974TV Movie


The Phantom of the Opera2004screenplay
Flawless1999written by
St. Elmo's Fire1985written by
Code Name: FoxfireTV Series created by - 1 episode, 1985 story - 1 episode, 1985
D.C. Cab1983story / writer
Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill1979TV Movie written by
The Wiz1978screenplay
Car Wash1976written by
Virginia Hill1974TV Movie


Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors2015TV Mini-Series documentary executive producer - 3 episodes
Gossip2000/Iexecutive producer
The Babysitter1995executive producer
2000 Malibu Road1992TV Series executive producer - 1 episode
Slow Burn1986TV Movie executive producer
Code Name: Foxfire1985TV Series executive producer - 1 episode

Costume Designer

The Prisoner of Second Avenue1975
Blume in Love1973
The Last of Sheila1973
Play It As It Lays1972


Yooryung2012TV Series producer: "The Phantom of the Opera"
The Phantom of the Opera2004producer: "Auction at the Opera Populaire, 1919 Prologue", "Hannibal", "Think of Me", "Angel of Music", "Little Lotte", "The Mirror Angel of Music-Reprise", "The Phantom of the Opera", "The Music of the Night", "Magical Lasso", "Notes", "Prima Donna", "Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh", "Il Muto", "Why Have You Brought Me Here?", "Raoul I've Been There", "All I Ask of You", "All I Ask of You Reprise", "Masquerade", "Why So Silent", "Journey To the Cemetery", "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", "W
Flawless1999writer: "Ashley's Song", "Tasha's Song"

Production Designer

Killer Bees1974TV Movie


Emerging Past2011Video acknowledgment
Coming Attractions: The History of the Movie Trailer2009Documentary thanks
First Snow2006special thanks
Party Girl2004Short special thanks
Welcome to Hollywood1998special thanks


Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall2016DocumentaryHimself
Everything Is Copy2015DocumentaryHimself
Angelo Donghia: Design Superstar2015DocumentaryHimself - Interviewee
Unsung Hollywood2015TV Series documentaryHimself
The Art of Cinematography at Plus Camerimage2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Batmobile2012TV Movie documentaryHimself
Side by Side2012DocumentaryHimself
Trespass: Inside the Thriller2011Video documentary shortHimself
Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf2011TV SeriesHimself
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson2011TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Made in Hollywood2011TV SeriesHimself
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel2011DocumentaryHimself
A Bundle of Sticks2010DocumentaryHimself
Coming Attractions: The History of the Movie Trailer2009DocumentaryHimself
Number 23: Focus Points2009Video documentary shortHimself
Hollywood's Best Film Directors2009TV SeriesHimself
True Blood-Lines: A New Type2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
Bloodsucking Cinema2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Making of 'The Number 23'2007Video documentary shortHimself
The Number 23: Creating the World of Fingerling2007Video documentary shortHimself
The Number 23 Enigma2007Video documentary shortHimself
Up Close with Carrie Keagan2007TV SeriesHimself
Jeopardy!2006TV SeriesHimself - Clue Giver
Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight - Batman Unbound2005Video documentary shortHimself
Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight - Reinventing a Hero2005Video documentary shortHimself
Behind the Mask: The Story of 'The Phantom of the Opera'2005Video documentaryHimself
The Making of 'The Phantom of the Opera'2005Video documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The 10th Annual Critics' Choice Awards2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Batman & Robin Heroes: Batgirl2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman & Robin Heroes: Batman2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman & Robin Heroes: Robin2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman & Robin Villains: Bane2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman & Robin Villains: Mr. Freeze2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman & Robin Villains: Poison Ivy2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman Forever Heroes: Batman2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman Forever Heroes: Dr. Chase Meridian2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman Forever Heroes: Robin2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman Forever Villains: The Riddler2005Video documentary shortHimself
Batman Forever Villains: Two-Face2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Bigger, Bolder, Brighter - The Production Design of 'Batman & Robin'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Dressed to Thrill - The Costumes of 'Batman & Robin'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Imaging Forever: The Visual Effects of 'Batman Forever'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Knight Moves - The Stunts of 'Batman Forever'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Out of the Shadows - The Production Design of 'Batman Forever'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: Scoring Forever - The Music of 'Batman Forever'2005Video documentary shortHimself
Beyond Batman: The Many Faces of Gotham City2005Video documentary shortHimself
Charlie Rose1995-2004TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
HBO First Look1999-2004TV Series documentaryHimself
The Lost Boys: A Retrospective2004Video documentary shortHimself
Rove Live2003TV SeriesHimself
Richard & Judy2003TV SeriesHimself
La semaine du cinéma2002TV SeriesHimself
The Big Show2001TV MovieHimself
The Boys of Manchester: On the Set of Queer as Folk2000TV Movie documentaryHimself
What the Folk?... Behind the Scenes of 'Queer as Folk'2000DocumentaryHimself
Mundo VIP1999TV SeriesHimself
Welcome to Hollywood1998Himself
Waking in Mississippi1998DocumentaryHimself
Mekano1997TV SeriesHimself
The Annual 1995 ShoWest Awards1995TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
This Morning1995TV SeriesHimself
Showbiz Today1995TV SeriesHimself
Riddle Me This: Why Is Batman Forever?1995TV Movie documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

1st Annual Mystery Science Theater 3000 Summer Blockbuster Review1997TV ShortHimself
Welcome to the Basement2015TV SeriesHimself


Won Awards

2011Distinguished Collaborator AwardCostume Designers Guild Awards
2010Special AwardCamerimageDirector
2004Movies for Grownups AwardAARP Movies for Grownups AwardsBest DirectorPhone Booth (2002)
2004Time-Machine Honorary AwardSitges - Catalonian International Film Festival
2003Solidarity AwardSan Sebastián International Film FestivalVeronica Guerin (2003)
2003Taormina Arte AwardTaormina International Film Festival
2000Artistic Achievement AwardPhiladelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
1997ShoWest AwardShoWest Convention, USADirector of the Year
1997Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst Sense of Direction (Stop them before they direct again!)Batman & Robin (1997)

Nominated Awards

2013OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Direction in a Drama SeriesHouse of Cards (2013)
2011Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsNew Approaches - Daytime EntertainmentHalf of Us (2007)
2005Golden Satellite AwardSatellite AwardsBest Screenplay, AdaptedThe Phantom of the Opera (2004)
2003Golden SeashellSan Sebastián International Film FestivalVeronica Guerin (2003)
1999Golden Berlin BearBerlin International Film Festival8MM (1999)
1999Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst Sense of Direction (Stop them before they direct again!)8MM (1999)
1998Razzie AwardRazzie AwardsWorst DirectorBatman & Robin (1997)
1993Palme d'OrCannes Film FestivalFalling Down (1993)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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