Joel T. Schumacher (; August 29, 1939 – June 22, 2020) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer who was active from the 1970s to the 2010s.
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.
Critical reaction to Schumacher's films ranged from critical accolades, for The Lost Boys and Falling Down, to critical disdain, with Batman & Robin being regarded as one of the worst films ever made.
He is also known as Joel T. Schumacher.
On June 22, 2020, Schumacher died from cancer. Following his death, he was praised by Jim Carrey and Matthew McConaughey, who credited Schumacher with launching his career.