Joel Schumacher (born August 29, 1939, in New York City), is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is known for directing St. Elmo's Fire, The Lost Boys, Falling Down, Flatliners, The Client, Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, The Phantom of the Opera, Phone Booth, The Number 23 and Batman & Robin.
Schumacher was born in New York City. His mother Marian was a Swedish Jew, and his father Frank was a Baptist from Knoxville, Tennessee, who died when Joel was four years old. He studied at Parsons The New School for Design and The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After first working in the fashion industry, he realized his true love was in filmmaking. He moved out to Los Angeles, where he began his media work as a costume designer in films such as Sleeper and developed his skills with television work while earning an MFA from UCLA. He wrote the screenplay for the 1976 low-budget hit movie Car Wash and a number of other minor successes. He also wrote 1978's The Wiz, an adaptation of the stage play of the same name. His film directorial debut was The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, which starred Lily Tomlin, and he quickly made more successful films,