Like millions of other cinephiles, the late Joel Schumacher also had a profound impact on Kevin Smith. Shortly after news of Schumacher's passing first surfaced Monday afternoon, Smith shared a heartfelt tribute on his Twitter profile — including the shortest of anecdotes about the two meeting on the set of Schumacher's Batman & Robin.
"RIP, Joel Schumacher," Smith tweeted. "I met him on the set of the ill-fated Batman & Robin and he couldn't have been nicer or more hospitable (and the man looooved to gossip). the Incredible Shrinking Woman was an early cable TV classic for me and I loved St Elmo's Fire, The Client, and Flawless."
RIP, Joel Schumacher. I met him on the set of the ill-fated Batman & Robin and he couldn’t have been nicer or more hospitable (and the man looooved to gossip). The Incredible Shrinking Woman was an early cable TV classic for me and I loved St Elmo’s Fire, The Client and Flawless. https://t.co/lqs14WPhTm— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 22, 2020
Schumacher, 80, first became a genre icon in the 1980's with Lost Boys, a film that will soon have a television revival. Before bouncing around with several of the aforementioned properties, the filmmaker eventually landed on Batman & Robin, one of the most poorly-reviewed superhero flicks ever released. The movie was received so poorly, Schumacher eventually offered fans of the character an apology.
"Look, I apologize. I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that... You know, I just knew not to do a sequel," the director said in a 2017 interview. "If you get lucky, walk away. But everybody at Warner Brothers just expected me to do one. Maybe it was some hubris on my part."
He added, "I had a batting average of 1,000, so I went from falling down a bit after Lost Boys, to a kind of a genius with The Client, a big blockbuster with Batman Forever, then had great reviews with A Time to Kill, so my batting average was good. I never planned on being, that dreadful quote, 'a blockbuster king' because my other films were much smaller and had just found success with the audience and not often with the critics, which is really why we wrote them. And then after Batman & Robin, I was scum. It was like I had murdered a baby."
Cover photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images and Mike Pont/FilmMagic