Schumacher was born in New York City where he lived with his mother, Marian Schumacher. His father, Francis Schumacher from Knoxville, Tennessee died when he was four years old. Schumacher attended the New School for Design and The Fashion Institute in New York. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles to start his costume designing career and started to get into film production. He earned an MFA from UCLA. His first screenplay was Sparkle a musical drama in 1976.
After writing screenplays, Schumacher joined Warner Bros. to replace Tim Burton as director of the next Batman movie called Batman Forever, which was produced by Burton. Schumacher's Batman Forever film was a huge box office success earning $336 million. Schumacher was rehired to direct another Batman film title called Batman and Robin in 1997.