Joel Schumacher Thought He Probably Should’ve Been Fired From Directing The Lost Boys

In a 2020 retrospective article for Empire (published two months before the director’s death), Schumacher joked, “There were some troubled youths on the film, […] so maybe a troubled director was perfect!” 

Jason Patric, the son of actor-playwright Jason Miller (best known to pop culture as Father Damien Karras in “The Exorcist”), was primed for stardom at the time and knew it. Though he’d only completed one film at this point in his career (the box-office mega-bomb “Solarbabies”), he took his role in “The Lost Boys” with the condition that he would not have to don vampire prosthetics. But the fluid nature of the screenplay during the shoot wound up requiring Patric to go full vamp. The furious not-yet-star threatened to walk off the movie, but the studio smoothed things over. Still, Schumacher felt awful. “I don’t lie to actors,” he said.

Schumacher felt worse about an incident involving Brooke McCarter, who played a member of Kiefer Sutherland’s vampire clique. In the scene where he attacks the Frog brothers (Feldman and Jamison Newlander) in the Emerson’s bathroom, McCarter, who, per Schumacher, had gotten “deep in character” as a psycho surfer dude, couldn’t nail his entrance with the frightening intensity the moment required. Schumacher was up against time limitations with his child actors and lost his cool. As he told Empire:

“I was so frustrated, and I just slapped him and pushed the door in front of him. I’d never done it in my life, and never again. I’m ashamed of it. It’s outrageous — he should have reported me, I should have been up on charges. But I’ve apologized many, many times.”

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