Rubin is the guy who wrote Groundhog Day the musical.
“They just wanted it to be more like something they already knew.” The film had been a solid success when it came out but not a phenomenon; Roger Ebert gave it three stars. The idea of a time loop became a standard trope in movies and television, and the term “Groundhog Day” itself became vernacular for any experience that seemed endlessly to repeat.
Rubin’s friends would call him up excitedly whenever they heard someone use it, until it became so common that they had to stop.
People kept writing to Rubin to tell him what his movie was about.
A monk saw it as a Christian allegory; a Kabbalist analyzed the significance of its numerology.
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.It’s more unusual still for an artist to return to that story in another medium for an encore nearly three decades later.Yet here Rubin is, in a Broadway theater, listening to his words echo, again and again and again, into the dark.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.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.One of them is the story credit for the Italian remake of not once but twice — maybe more times than that, but who’s counting.It’s unusual for any artist to live so long under the shadow of a single work, let alone a story that is itself intimately concerned with limits and repetition.Philosophy students wrote dissertations about and Nietzsche’s concept of the “eternal recurrence.” An economist published a column claiming that the film “illustrates the importance of the Mises-Hayek paradigm as an alternative to equilibrium economics by illustrating the unreal nature of equilibrium theorizing.” Addicts told Rubin that the film had helped them realize they were trapped in Punxsutawneys of their own making.The letters and phone calls and emails would reach a crescendo every February 2, a day when Rubin would hear not only from strangers and fans but from his own friends and family.