RIP Joel Schumacher, the director of Batman and Robin and The Lost Boys

Batman and Robin Set Joel Schumacher
Credit: Warner Bros.

Joel Schumacher’s Batman films are a guilty pleasure of mine. It gave us a very colorful world of Gotham, Arnold Schwarzenegger dishing out cheesy puns as Mr. Freeze, Batman credit card, and nipples on the batsuit. Despite some of the flak these films have received from fans, I still have fond memories. With that said, it’s really sad to hear about today’s news. It’s reported that Schumacher has passed away after a long battle with cancer at the age of 80.

Schumacher has a list of varied film projects. The Lost Boys was a teen thriller about vampires starring Kiefer Sutherland. 8mm was a dark crime thriller starring Nicolas Cage, and it was the first film that introduced me to Joaquin Phoenix (Joker). Other films include Phone Booth starring Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and The Phantom of the Opera starring Gerard Butler (300).

Of all the films he did, it was the Batman franchise that made him known to many superhero fans. Tim Burton gave us a darker Batman after fans watched a lighter version with Adam West in the live-action shows. Schumacher took over the reins and directed Batman Forever, which grossed over $300 million worldwide. It brought back the campiness as seen in the TV show and introduced Val Kilmer as Batman, Jim Carrey as The Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face.

He later tackled Batman and Robin, which was released in 1997. George Clooney played Batman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to be having a chill time as the cold-as-ice villain. We had two other villains with Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy and her sidekick, Bane.

Batman and Robin did become a laughing stock, and the director has apologized for his part.

“Look, I apologize,” Schumacher told Vice. “I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that… You know, I just knew not to do a sequel. If you get lucky, walk away. But everybody at Warner Brothers just expected me to do one. Maybe it was some hubris on my part. I had a batting average of 1,000, so I went from falling down a bit after Lost Boys, to a kind of a genius with The Client, a big blockbuster with Batman Forever, then had great reviews with A Time to Kill, so my batting average was good. I never planned on being, that dreadful quote, ‘a blockbuster king’ because my other films were much smaller and had just found success with the audience and not often with the critics, which is really why we wrote them. And then after Batman & Robin, I was scum. It was like I had murdered a baby.”

Despite receiving flak, he owned up to the film’s negative reception from the critics and fans, which received a Rotten Tomatoes score of 11% and a CinemaScore of C+.

RIP, Joel Schumacher (1939-2020)

Via Variety

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10351 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.