During its 24 years as a film, Groundhog Day has grown into a contemporary classic, beloved by critics and movie enthusiasts alike. It is #34 on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Laughs list and #8 on AFI’s Top 10 Fantasy Films list, and it remains a popular attraction when it plays on TV each year at or around February 2. Danny Rubin wrote the original spec script and partnered with director Harold Ramis to bring it to screen.
In the summer of 2016, Groundhog Day the musical premiered in London’s Old Vic. It was written by Danny in collaboration with Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and the lyrics. That production would go on to win the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical. The musical is currently playing on Broadway, where it received several Tony nominations.
The film has meant a lot to me over the years, so I was thrilled that I got the chance to talk to Danny about it.
Our Groundhog Day discussion includes
- Danny’s outline process that allowed him to write the rough draft in four days
- The way the film gets a lot of mileage out of its setups and payoffs.
How the story was influenced by Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat and Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life
- What makes Groundhog Day‘s structure different from other films in the genre
- The collaboration process with Harold Ramis and Bill Murray
- What goes into developing a musical, and how is it different from film
Listen to the Episode
- Groundhog Day the musical
- How to Write Groundhog Day by Danny Rubin
- Groundhog Day – 2nd revision script
- Groundhog Day – 3rd revision script
- Rubin’s Rubrics of Writing
- Groundhog Day discussed on Scriptnotes podcast
- Groundhog Day story checklist on Secrets of Story
- Screenwriters Down South on Meetup, Facebook
- Our Groundhog Day discussion happens at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 27 at the Bluebonnet Library in Baton Rouge.
- Steve Kaplan discusses comedy principles at work in Groundhog Day and other classic comedies on this ep. of The nsavides Podcast.
- Back to the Future
- Days of Future Past
- Doctor Strange
- Groundhog Day
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- Wizard of Oz
- Wonder Woman
- A Christmas Carol
- How to Write Groundhog Day
- The Odyssey
- The Vampire Lestat
- We Don’t Need Roads