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THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

JOEL SCHUMACHER (Director/Screenwriter) has become one of America's most successful filmmakers. In 1995, he brought moviegoers the biggest domestic box office hit of the year, Batman Forever. The epic adventure-fantasy amassed a worldwide gross of more than $330 million. He next directed its successful fourth installment, Batman and Robin, starring George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze.

Previous to Batman Forever, Schumacher directed the critically-acclaimed hit version of the John Grisham novel, The Client, starring Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. In 1996, he directed the highly successful adaptation of another Grisham novel, A Time to Kill, starring Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey.

Schumacher's features, such as St. Elmo's Fire, The Lost Boys, Cousins and Flatliners starring Julia Roberts, have displayed the filmmaker's versatility and close attention to performance, nuance and atmosphere. Dying Young reunited Schumacher and Julia Roberts. He followed this up with the gritty, controversial Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas.

In 1999, Schumacher directed the thriller 8MM, starring Nicolas Cage. Also in 1999, he wrote and directed Flawless, starring Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2000, he directed Tigerland, about young men training for Vietnam in 1971, as well as Phone Booth; both films star Colin Farrell. He then went on to direct Bad Company starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, which was released in June of 2002. Most recently Schumacher directed Cate Blanchett in Veronica Guerin, the true story of the Irish journalist killed by Dublin's drug lords, also for Bruckheimer.

Schumacher was born and raised in New York City, where he studied design and display at Parsons School of Design. He began his career in the entertainment industry as an art director for television commercials before becoming costume designer for such notable films as Woody Allen's Sleeper and Interiors, Herbert Ross's The Last of Sheila and Paul Mazursky's Blume In Love. He then wrote the screenplays for Sparkle and the hit comedy Car Wash.

Schumacher made his directing debut with the television movie The Virgina Hill Story, starring Dyan Cannon in the title role and Harvey Keitel as the mobster Bugsy Siegel. This was followed by his award-winning telefilm Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill. The Incredible Shrinking Woman, starring Lily Tomlin, marked his feature film directing debut, followed by D.C. Cab, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Schumacher also wrote the script for St. Elmo's Fire with Carl Kurlander. In 1998, Schumacher directed the successful Chicago theatrical run of David Mamet's scorching Hollywood satire, Speed-the-Plow.

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