Director Joel Shumacher was born August 29, 1939. He died of cancer June 22, 2020, only a few weeks before his 81st birthday. He is well known for his directorial work, having helmed The Lost Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, 8MM, Batman and Robin, and Batman Forever among many others.
It seems unfair that in a life and career that spanned eight decades, he will be remembered in some circles more for being the man who put nipples on the Batman’s batsuit than directing 35 movies and TV shows, writing 12 scripts, or producing 9 TV shows and movies, or for being costume designer for six films.
Variety reported “For Batman Forever, the openly gay Schumacher introduced nipples to the costumes worn by Batman and Robin, leaning into the longstanding latent homoeroticism between the two characters.”
Shumacher wrote the script for The Wiz, the all-Black musical reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz. He wrote the comedy classic Car Wash, co-wrote Sparkle (a musical loosely based on the career of the Supremes), and co-wrote and directed The Phantom of the Opera.
Schumacher also directed the Lily Tomlin vehicle, The Incredible Shrinking Woman. He directed the popular vampire film The Lost Boys and the techno-horror film Flatliners. His two contributions to Batman in the movies were Batman Forever with Willow‘s Val Kilmer and Batman and Robin with Tomorrowland‘s George Clooney.