Schumacher, Joel 1939-
SCHUMACHER, Joel 1939-
PERSONAL: Born August 29, 1939, in New York, NY; son of Francis and Marian (Kantor) Schumacher.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Twentieth Century-Fox Theatricals, P.O. Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213-0900.
CAREER: Writer, director, costume designer, and producer. Director of films, including The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Universal, 1981; D.C. Cab (also known as Street Fleet), Universal, 1983; St. Elmo's Fire, Columbia, 1985; The Lost Boys, Warner Bros., 1987; Cousins, Paramount, 1989; Flatliners, Columbia, 1990; Dying Young, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1991; Falling Down, 1993; The Client, 1994; Batman Forever, 1995; A Time to Kill, Warner Bros., 1996; Batman and Robin, Warner Bros., 1997; (and producer) 8mm, Columbia, 1999; (and producer) Flawless, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1999; Tigerland, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2000; Phone Booth, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2002; Bad Company, 2002; Veronica Guerin, 2003; On the Road, 2003; and Phantom of the Opera, in production.
Executive producer of films, including The Babysitter, 1995; and Gossip, Warner Bros., 2001. Appeared as himself in the film Welcome to Hollywood, Phaedra Cinema, 1998. Costume designer for films, including Play It as It Lays, Universal, 1972; The Last of Sheila, 1972; Blume in Love, 1973; Sleeper, United Artists, 1973; The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Warner Bros., 1975; and Interiors, United Artists, 1978. Production designer of film Killer Bees, 1974.
Director of television films The Virginia Hill Story, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1974; and Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill, NBC, 1979. Executive producer, with Stefanie Staffin Kowal, of film Slow Burn, Showtime, 1986. Director of music videos "Devil Inside" by INXS, "The End Is the Beginning Is the End," by Smashing Pumpkins, and "Kiss from a Rose," by Seal.
Director of television series episodes of 2000 Malibu Road, 1992. Executive producer of television programs, including Now We're Cookin' (pilot), CBS, 1983; Foxfire (also known as Code Name: Foxfire), 1985; Hangin' with MTV, 1992; and 2000 Malibu Road (series), 1992. Appeared on television programs, including The ShoWest Awards, 1997; Masters of Fantasy: Joel Schumacher, Sci-Fi Channel, 1997; The Directors, Encore, 1999; The Boys of Manchester: On the Set of Queer as Folk, 2000; The Big Show: Toronto International Film Festival, 2001; and Richard and Judy, 2003.
Director of stage productions, including Speed-the-Plow, Chicago, IL, 1989; and Them, HERE Arts Center, New York City, 1999. Costume designer, The Time of the Cuckoo, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, c. 1974.
Car Wash, Universal, 1976.
Sparkle (based on a story by Schumacher and Howard Rosenman), Warner Bros., 1976.
The Wiz (based on musical of the same title by William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls and adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum), Universal, 1978.
D.C. Cab (also known as Street Fleet; based on a story by Schumacher and Topper Carew), Universal, 1983.
(With Carl Kurlander) St. Elmo's Fire, Columbia, 1985.
Flawless, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1999.
Phantom of the Opera (based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber), in production.
Also wrote the song "Ashley" for Flawless.
The Virginia Hill Story (movie), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1974.
Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill (movie), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1979.
(And executive producer) Now We're Cookin' (pilot), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1983.
ADAPTATIONS: Sparkle was adapted for the stage as Sparkle: The Musical by Ntozake Shange.
SIDELIGHTS: Joel Schumacher is among the top tier of Hollywood directors. He has directed two big-budget movies in the "Batman" series, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, as well as The Client and A Time to Kill, films based on best-selling novels by lawyer-turned-author John Grisham. In addition to his directorial efforts, Schumacher has also written the scripts for some of his own projects. These include adaptations of theatrical works, such as The Wiz and The Phantom of the Opera, as well as original scripts, including St. Elmo's Fire and Flawless. The latter film stars Robert De Niro as Walt, a macho former security guard and tango dancer whose life crumbles when a stroke leaves him half paralyzed. In order to rehabilitate his vocal cords, Walt agrees to take voice lessons from a drag queen, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also lives in his building. "The only place in the galaxy where these two people could possibly become friends is in a sentimental Hollywood buddy comedy," Owen Gleiberman noted in Entertainment Weekly, but "it says a lot for Joel Schumacher's Flawless that you can see the picture's high-concept heart a mile away and still be won over by it." Finally, Emanuel Levy wrote in Variety, "Schumacher has made a studio movie that is truly independent in spirit and visual style."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 36, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
International Directory of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Directors, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
America's Intelligence Wire, April 2, 2003, Kevin Taylor, interview with Schumacher.
British Medical Journal, November 25, 2000, Sarah Carr, review of Flawless, p. 1354.
California Magazine, July, 1985, Kenneth Turan, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 34.
Cosmopolitan, August, 1985, Guy Flatley, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 22.
Entertainment Weekly, July 21, 1995, Jess Cagle, profile of Schumacher, pp. 21-22; October 27, 1995, Steve Daly, reviews of D.C. Cab and St. Elmo's Fire, pp. 100-101; July 26, 1996, pp. 16-22; December 3, 1999, Owen Gleiberman, review of Flawless, p. 73; April 11, 2003, Owen Gleiberman, review of Phone Booth, p. 52.
Film Journal International, June, 2002, Harry Haun, "Director by Design," p. 12.
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, spring, 2000, Michael Haas, review of Flawless, p. 60.
Interview, May, 1997, Richard Pandiscio, interview with Schumacher, p. 48; June, 1997, Ingrid Sischy, interview with Schumacher, pp. 90-95; February, 1999, Ingrid Sischy, interview with Schumacher and Jeffrey Deitch, p. 80.
Journal of American & Comparative Cultures, fall-winter, 2002, Steve Macek, "The Political Uses of the Neo-noir City: Ideology, Genre, and the Urban Landscape in 8 mm and Strange Days," pp. 375-383.
Newsweek, June 30, 1997, Mark Miller, interview with Schumacher, pp. 76-77.
New York, July 15, 1985, David Denby, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 66.
People, January 16, 1984, review of D.C. Cab, p. 11; July 1, 1985, Scot Haller, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 10; July 14, 1997, Alex Tresniowski, profile of Schumacher, pp. 117-122.
Premiere, November, 2000, interview with Schumacher, p. 52.
Sight and Sound, December, 2000, David Jays, review of Flawless, p. 47.
Texas Monthly, August, 1985, James Wolcott, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 157.
Time, December 26, 1983, Richard Corliss, review of D.C. Cab, p. 79; July 1, 1985, Richard Schickel, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 63; November 22, 1999, Richard Schickel, review of Flawless, p. 100.
Us, June, 1996, Margy Rochlin, interview with Schumacher, pp. 68-70.
Variety, June 19, 1985, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 25; August 23, 1999, Michael Fleming, "Schumacher Vacates Lakeshore Apartment," p. 12; November 22, 1999, Emanuel Levy, review of Flawless, p. 84; April 17, 2000, Michael Fleming, "Schumacher Connects," p. 18.
Video Business, March 20, 2000, Irv Slifkin, review of Flawless, p. 13.
Vogue, August, 1985, Molly Haskell, review of St. Elmo's Fire, p. 64.
Washingtonian, February, 1984, Pat Dowell, review of D.C. Cab, p. 46.*