Joel T. Schumacher (1939 - 2020) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and costume designer. He 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, The Lost Boys, and The Client. 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 films, including Tigerland and Phone Booth. He directed The Phantom of the Opera, which was released to mixed reviews in 2004. His final directorial work was for two episodes of House of Cards.
Critical reaction to Schumacher's films ranged from critical accolades for The Lost Boys, Falling Down, Tigerland, and Phone Booth to critical disdain for Batman & Robin, released in 1997, is regarded as one of the worst films ever made.