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His agent said, “Get me a writing sample,” so Rubin went back to his list. 10 on the list was “A man lives the same day over and over.” He wasn’t the first to think of this premise. tried to woo him back, regularly flying him into town.The idea of reiterating the same stretch of time goes at least as far back as a 1904 short story by a British military strategist, in which a man dreams his way through the same battle, again and again. Lupoff published a short book titled came out, but the lawsuit was never formally filed.) Rubin had never read either of these, and he didn’t care how his protagonist had come to be trapped in February 2 — a date he chose in the hope that the movie might become a holiday cable perennial, the way was broadcast every Christmas. How many lifetimes would it take for someone to truly change? “You get in the door because you wrote a hit movie, but they want to see you as a guy they can play with.” But Rubin wouldn’t play.Rubin is the guy who wrote Groundhog Day the musical.
He once spent two days working the front counter of the country’s most productive Mc Donald’s so he could write a video showing other Mc Donald’s workers how to shave seconds off their time with each customer.
It wasn’t glorious, but at least he was being paid for writing.
Rubin was more interested in what would happen to a man stuck reliving the same day over and over. , found the script and was hired to direct it, and he cast Bill Murray to star in it. It’s messing with the premise and the structure that makes it exciting! “It would be like, Goldie Hawn has a dysfunctional family, none of them get along, so they go camping and in the end they all learn to love each other,” Rubin recalls.
Rubin spent weeks revising it, first with Ramis, then with Murray — the two of them throwing ideas back and forth, hanging out in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — and then it went back to Ramis, who defended it from the studio’s worst impulses, such as inserting a scene where the main character, Phil Connors, gets cursed by a gypsy. “They’d say, ‘Just write something normal and it’ll come out Danny Rubin–y. “Typically I would say, ‘Okay, I am going to tell you your movie.’ ” He’d lay out a perfectly respectable studio picture, with a three-act structure and a conventional conclusion.
“And then I’d say, ‘Under no circumstances am I going to write that movie.’ ” He sighs.
“It took me years to understand that’s why the business started disappearing.” Most people in this situation either quit the screenplay business or learn to compromise. He kept writing scripts for his own ideas, and he kept selling them, pretty steadily, over the years — to Universal, to Amblin, to Castle Rock, to Miramax.
But no one knows it as well as the guy in the third row: a 60-year-old with wild wisps of hair, round eyeglasses, and a Hopi-sun-symbol stud in one ear.
Danny Rubin is utterly rapt, even though he’s seen this performance more than 20 times; even though he’s lived with this story for nearly 25 years; even though he’s listening to some of the same lines he first tapped out on a Toshiba laptop when he was a young man of 32.
He wrote a silent film; they asked if it could have dialogue.
“People weren’t responding to my stuff by making movies out of it,” he says.