Director Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys, Flatliners, and many more) has died at 80.
Via The Hollywood Reporter: “Schumacher died in New York City after a yearlong battle with cancer, a representative announced.”
In one career note, Variety adds: “Schumacher was handed the reins of the ‘Batman’ franchise when Tim Burton exited Warner Bros.’ Caped Crusader series after two enormously successful films. The first movie by Schumacher, ‘Batman Forever,’ starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman, grossed more than $300 million worldwide. Schumacher’s second and last film in the franchise was 1997’s ‘Batman and Robin,’ with George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as villain Mr. Freeze. For ‘Batman & Robin,’ the openly gay Schumacher introduced nipples to the costumes worn by Batman and Robin, leaning into the longstanding latent homoeroticism between the two characters. (In 2006, Clooney told Barbara Walters that he had played Batman as gay.)”
In a wide-ranging 2019 interview with GQ, Schumacher talked about the sadness of the AIDS crisis and how reckless he was, even after testing negative for HIV: ‘After [the negative test] I think I got wilder. What my psychiatrist said that was really fascinating was, ‘No, you are desperately afraid of death. It’s like swimming out further and further every night in the ocean and seeing if you can get back, and when you get home, it’s like, ‘I f**ked death again.””
Schumacher also talked about Batman & Robin, and assertions that he made the franchise “gayer.”
Said Schumacher: “If I wasn’t gay, they would never say those things.”