Danny Rubin

most notably the screenwriter of the modern classic Groundhog Day

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webtoedan148 karma

I remember you. Gotta go.

Nah, I wasn't thinking Bill Murray. Loved his work, but I wasn't thinking of comedians. I was thinking that the part would require an actor, but an actor who could do comedy. I suggested Tom Hanks and they actually asked him, but he declined. He later told Harold that he was right to turn it down because he wouldn't have worked in the part. He said everybody knows that he's a nice guy, so if he started out as nasty everybody would anticipate his transformation. With Bill you have no idea what he's going to do. And that's all true. And Bill really did an amazing job, didn't he?

webtoedan63 karma

Here's why I thought of it: if you listen to the recording at the very end it sort of winds down with a big slow "I got yououououou baaaaaaaabe." You think it's over, then it creeps back in: "I got you babe! I got you babe! etc" I thought this repetition was perfect. The timing never worked out for them to use it in the movie that way, but I guess because it's a love song and because even though it's catchy it would drive you crazy after a while, it was always a good idea.

webtoedan62 karma

Yes. Wait... No. I'm instructed to say no. Actually I think the groundhog bit Bill Murray a couple of times, so fair is fair.

webtoedan52 karma

Oh, man. There wasn't anything really crazy, and some of the personal stuff I like to keep personal. But one of the coolest things I ever did was play basketball with Bill. Him, me, Dan Aykroyd and Tom Davis played some two on two. It was a spontaneous game played on an indoor court and none of us had sneakers so we played in our socks, which if you've ever done it you'll know is impossible. At one point Bill is passing the ball to Tom and hurls the thing pro style at my head. I ducked. And that's my crazy Bill story. He liked me a lot more after that game. He appreciated that I had the kind of moves that would allow me to duck in time. Maybe that's a good skill for a screenwriter.

webtoedan52 karma

Just keep writing. If you're really piss poor then I heartily recommend that you get better.

webtoedan51 karma

You know what? You're welcome. I appreciate the unsolicited niceness.

webtoedan50 karma

I heard that too, and I heard it was Harold who wanted it more funny and Bill who wanted it more philosophical - but I was there and I don't remember it that way. There was a bit of a tug of war between aspects of my original draft and Harold's studio draft, but I never thought of it as between comedic and philosophical. We all saw it as both, I think.

webtoedan44 karma

I think that's it for me, folks. It's been fun, and I hope you got something out of all that. If you have any more questions for me or about me please check my website, my blog, or just check out the new eBook and you'll hear more complete answers to pretty much everything you asked -except for the one about laundry detergent. Goodnight, everyone!

webtoedan35 karma

I guess I don't believe in any of those time ideas, or rather I don't spend any time worrying about it. Still, I find you can learn a lot about how things really work when you imagine things that are not possible. Phil's time loop is not something I believe anybody has ever really experienced. But the life he lives as a result sure does feel familiar, doesn't it? The aspect of life that is a kind of repetition of days, a repetition of very similar experiences. And the other aspect of Phil's dilemma, that he is unable to escape from his life, is certainly a fitting metaphor for what we all experience.

webtoedan35 karma

First thing I thought of: I wanted to have a much more meaty escape sequence. I thought he would try a lot harder to get out of town, and I had him driving and riding snowmobiles and stealing a plane and trying to teach himself how to fly, etc. That was fun.