Joel T. Schumacher (August 28th, 1939 - June 22nd, 2020) was an American film director, screenwriter and producer. Schumacher was raised in New York City by his mother and suffered from substance abuse at a young age. He became a fashion designer after graduating from Parsons School of Design, but would continue suffering from substance abuse and high levels of debt until the early 1970s. He first entered film-making as a production and costume designer before gaining writing credits on Car Wash, Sparkle, and The Wiz.
He received little attention for his initial theatrically released films, The Incredible Shrinking Woman and D.C. Cab, but rose to prominence after directing St. Elmo's Fire and The Lost Boys. Schumacher was selected to replace Tim Burton as director of the Batman franchise and oversaw Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. After the Batman franchise Schumacher directed smaller budgeted movies, including Tigerland and Phone Booth. He directed The Phantom of the Opera which was released to mixed-to-negative reviews in 2004. His final directorial work was for two episodes of House of Cards.