Director Joel Schumacher died on Monday morning in New York City after a yearlong battle with cancer at age 80. 

Schumacher is best known for his works Batman Forever and St. Elmo’s Fire among other 80s hits such as The Lost Boys and Batman & Robin.

He first started his career in the fashion industry, but decided he needed a fresh start after struggling with a drug addiction. In 1970, he told Fresh Air, “When I got off hard drugs in 1970, I thought, ‘I got to go back to basics, and I’ve really screwed up my life here. So what can I do to make my life better?’ And I thought, ‘I’ve got to pursue my original dream as a child to become a movie director.'”


Schumacher moved towards costume design for Woody Allen‘s Sleeper in 1973 and Paul Mazursky‘s Blume in Love in 1973, using his background in fashion to his advantage. He then started to write his own storylines such as Car Wash and The Wiz. Schumacher finally earned his success after he both wrote and directed St. Elmo’s Fire. 

Schumacher was met with fame again with the productions of his films Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. In these movies, he looked back on the goofiness of Adam West’s time playing the superhero in the 1960s television series when it came to costumes, jokes and sexual tension.

He said, “I had a lot of fun with it. Since you always get asked if that’s the case with them, I thought, well, I might as well play it up to — somewhat. And I over-exaggerated all the sexuality in my Batman movies — you know, the men and the women are sort of ‘oversteroided’ sexually because I thought it was better to play into it than try to pretend it wasn’t there.” 

Schumacher was openly gay and popular for being candid when it came to his life such as his drug addiction and his experiences in Hollywood. He ended his interview by touching on how the LGBT community was viewed in the film industry, “People who work in the movie business have the same feelings as people do all over the globe. The difference in show business is, if you can make money for people, they don’t care what you do. “

In the wake of his death, fans are remembering how progressive he was when it came to the batman films. 

One user tweeted, “Schumacher was a campy king and I loved it.”

Another added, “rip joel schumacher, who cast and styled his batman movies in a way that only a gay man with a $100 million budget could.”

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