Richard P. Rubinstein

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Richard P. Rubinstein
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Years active1970–present
SpouseKatherine Rubinstein
RelativesDonald Rubinstein (brother)

Richard P. Rubinstein is an American film and television producer, who has worked mainly in the science fiction and horror genres. In the 1970s and 1980s he collaborated frequently with horror director George A. Romero, including on the seminal zombie films Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985). He also produced 1984–1988 anthology horror television series Tales from the Darkside. In the 1980s and 1990s Rubinstein produced a substantial number of projects based on the writings of horror novelist Stephen King.

Early life[edit]

Rubinstein was born in Brooklyn, New York. His younger brother, born in 1952, is Donald Rubinstein, a composer who wrote the music for some of the films and series Rubinstein produced.

Rubinstein received an undergraduate degree from American University, and an MBA from Columbia University.[1]


Rubinstein began his production career as a production assistant for television commercials. He got his first associate producer credit in the early 1970s for the one-hour TV special A Night with Nicol Williamson, produced by Dore Schary. In 1973 Rubinstein produced The Winners, a series of one-hour profiles about various American sports heroes, and in 1974 he independently produced a similar one-hour television special profiling O. J. Simpson.

Laurel Entertainment[edit]

In the mid-1970s, Rubinstein and horror director George A. Romero co-founded the production company Laurel Entertainment. In 1979, Rubinstein took the company public, to raise more money.

In 1984, Romero left Laurel Entertainment to pursue his own projects, although the two would continue to collaborate. In 1986, Laurel teamed up with New World Pictures in order to co-produce the film Creepshow 2.[2] In 1988, Rubinstein and Aaron Spelling merged Laurel Entertainment and Spelling's own production company, Aaron Spelling Productions as subsidiaries of a new public company, Spelling Entertainment Inc. The merger was completed on March 1, 1989.[3] Rubinstein remained head of the Laurel Entertainment division.

On October 5, 1993, Blockbuster Entertainment acquired a controlling stake in Spelling Entertainment Group.,[4] and in 1994 it in turn was bought by Viacom. In 1995, Rubinstein, who was still head of the Laurel division, left to found his own, smaller production company, New Amsterdam Entertainment in New York City. Laurel Entertainment was folded into Spelling Television the same year.

Association with George Romero[edit]

Through Laurel Entertainment, Rubinstein co-produced or executive produced a number of Romero's films, most notably Dawn of the Dead but also Martin (1978), Knightriders (1981), Creepshow (1982) and Day of the Dead (1985).

Rubinstein also executive produced Romero's 1984–1988 anthology horror series Tales from the Darkside, which was based on the success of Creepshow. After Tales from the Darkside ended, Rubinstein executive produced the similar anthology show Monsters, which ran from 1988 to 1991, this one without involvement from Romero.

Rubinstein also co-produced the 2004 remake of Romero's Dawn of the Dead, again without involvement from Romero (Romero was critical of the remake, saying it was more like a "video game").

Association with Stephen King[edit]

Rubinstein's first known professional collaboration with Stephen King was the 1982 anthology film Creepshow, which Rubinstein co-produced and which had a screenplay written by King, based on a combination of some of King's published short stories as well as new plots. In 1987, via Laurel Entertainment, Rubinstein executive-produced its sequel, Creepshow 2, this time based on King's stories but written by Romero. In the 1980s, two anthology horror series that Rubinstein executive-produced, Tales from the Darkside and Monsters, included episodes based on short stories by King. The 1990 anthology horror film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie also included a chapter based on a short story by King. Rubinstein co-produced the 1991 miniseries Golden Years, which was written by King, based on an original concept.

Rubinstein also produced a string of film and television adaptations of other written works by Stephen King, including the 1989 film Pet Sematary, the 1994 miniseries The Stand, the 1995 miniseries The Langoliers, the 1996 film Thinner and the 1997 film The Night Flier. These were often co-produced with Mitchell Galin.

Dune series[edit]

Rubinstein held the film and television rights to the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert since 1996.[5] With Mitchell Galin, Rubinstein produced the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and its 2003 follow-up, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune.[6] In 2008, Rubinstein attempted to produce a film adaptation of Dune with Paramount Pictures, but Paramount dropped the effort in 2011.[7][8][9] Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures later acquired the rights from Rubinstein for a new two-film adaption of Dune to be directed by Denis Villeneuve with the first part to be released in December 2020; Rubinstein served as executive producer for the films.[10]

Awards and accolades[edit]


  1. ^ Hanauer, Joan (April 8, 1989). "'Monsters' of the Week". UPI. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  2. ^ "New World And Laurel Planning 'Creepshow 2', Gornick Set as Helmer". Variety. July 9, 1986. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Spelling Entertainment Inc. formed in reorganization of Aaron Spelling Productions Inc.; merger with Worldvision and Laurel also completed".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Looking Back at All the Utterly Disastrous Attempts to Adapt Dune". Vulture. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  6. ^ Berger, Warren (March 16, 2003). "COVER STORY: Where Spice of Life Is the Vital Variety". The New York Times. p. 134. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  7. ^ Sperling, Nicole (January 4, 2010). "Dune remake back on track with director Pierre Morel". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Reynolds, Simon (March 23, 2011). "Dune remake dropped by Paramount". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 22, 2011). "Paramount ends 4 year attempt to turn Frank Herbert's Dune into film franchise". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  10. ^ "Cameras Roll on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment's Epic Adaptation of "Dune"" (Press release). Warner Bros. Pictures. March 18, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2020 – via Business Wire.

External links[edit]