Richard P. Rubinstein is an established and broadly diversified producer of Feature Films, Event Miniseries, TV movies and anthology formatted television series. Mr. Rubinstein is also known for his willingness to take a chance on directors, writers and actors early in their careers.
In 1979, Mr. Rubinstein took Laurel Entertainment, the feature film and TV production company that he had founded with director George A. Romero, public on the NASDQ Stock Exchange. The objective was to raise sufficient capital to allow the company to internally finance development of feature film and television concepts in order to retain a higher degree of creative control and financial participation in the entertainment products that the company created. In that same year Mr. Rubinstein produced and Mr. Romero wrote and directed the now critically acclaimed box office bonanza "Dawn of the Dead," which has become the benchmark for horror movie success ever since.
In 1984, Mr. Romero resigned from the company to pursue his creative interests without public company responsibilities.
In 1988, with respective shareholder approval, Mr. Rubinstein and Aaron Spelling agreed to merge Laurel and Spelling Television as subsidiaries of a new American Stock Exchange listed company, The Spelling Entertainment Group (SEG). Under Mr. Rubinstein’s continued management as CEO, Laurel became the NYC based East Coast development and production arm of the combined companies. As part of the same merger, SEG also acquired Worldvision, a television distributor with a large library of programming.
In 1992, Spelling and its subsidiaries, including Laurel, were acquired by Blockbuster Entertainment and in 1994, Viacom acquired Blockbuster and Laurel became an operating unit of Viacom. In 1995, seeking a small-company working environment, Mr. Rubinstein resigned from Laurel/Viacom and founded another NYC based production company, New Amsterdam Entertainment, Inc.
Mr. Rubinstein's feature film producer credits also include his 1989 production of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” (Paramount), based on the novel and screenplay by Stephen King, and directed by second-time feature director Mary Lambert. The $10 million film earned $57 million in domestic box office gross and earned over $120 million worldwide. Other Stephen King based features produced by Mr. Rubinstein include “The Night Flier” (New Line, 1998), "Thinner" (Paramount, 1997), and “Creepshow” (Warner Bros., 1982), with a cast that included Leslie Nielsen, Hal Holbrook, E.G. Marshall and Ted Danson (before he went on to star in "Cheers"). In 1990, Mr. Rubinstein produced "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" (Paramount) directed by John Harrison in his first feature film assignment. The ensemble cast included Julianne Moore in her first feature film appearance, Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater and Debby Harry. Mr. Rubinstein was a producer of several other George A. Romero directed films including “Martin” (Libra Films, 1977) and “Knightriders” (United Artists, 1981), which starred Ed Harris in his first feature leading role.
In 2004, New Amsterdam provided the services of Mr. Rubinstein as producer for a remake of the Rubinstein produced 1979 horror film classic, “George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead”.
The 2004 “Dawn of the Dead” remake was directed by first-time feature director Zack Snyder and starred Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames and Mekhi Phifer. Distributed by Universal, the remake has grossed in excess of $110M worldwide and was critically honored as an “Official Selection” of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Under the New Amsterdam banner, Mr. Rubinstein’s Executive Producer credits for television include the highly rated and critically acclaimed miniseries “Frank Herbert’s Dune”. Produced in association with ABC/Disney the six-hour Emmy-award winning miniseries premiered on the Sci Fi Channel in December 2000 with first-time miniseries writer/director John Harrison choreographing an ensemble cast led by William Hurt and photographed by three-time Academy Award winning Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
Emmy-winning “Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune” also scripted by John Harrison and directed by Greg Yaitanes followed soon after. Adapted from the 2nd and 3rd novels in Frank Herbert’s saga and produced in association with Disney and Hallmark, the six-hour tv event was the first high profile major miniseries to be shot with “24P” High Definition digital cameras. The mini premiered in March 2003 on the Sci Fi Channel with Susan Sarandon leading an ensemble cast which included the now well known James McAvoy. ("The Last King of Scotland" and "The Chronicles of Narnia")
Currently Mr. Rubinstein, on behalf of New Amsterdam and ABC Studios, is developing the next installment of the Dune Saga, picking up where the "Frank Herbert's Children of Dune" left off.
Mr. Rubinstein’s Executive Producer credits for television include Stephen King’s “The Stand” (1994) an eight-hour miniseries for ABC (20.3 rating, 30 share) starring Gary Sinise (before "Forest Gump" and "Apollo 13" best supporting actor nominations) and Stephen King’s “The Langoliers” (1995) a four-hour ABC miniseries starring Patricia Wettig, Dean Stockwell, Bronson Pinchot and David Morse (19.4 rating/30 share). Both miniseries were the highest rated long form movies on any network in their respective broadcast years. “The Stand” also garnered Mr. Rubinstein and Mr. King nominations for Best Miniseries. Earlier in the 90's Mr. Rubinstein Executive Produced "Stephen King's Golden Years," an eight-hour miniseries for CBS which co-starred Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") in her first leading role on television.
Mr. Rubinstein also Executive Produced, (with Aaron Spelling and David Brown), the hit CBS Miniseries “A Season in Purgatory” (1996), starring Patrick Dempsey and Brian Dennehy based on the Dominick Dunne best seller; he also Executive Produced the highly rated “Kiss & Tell” (1996), a two-hour movie for ABC starring Cheryl Ladd; and “Precious Victims” (1993), a two-hour CBS TV movie of the week starring Robbie Benson based on a true crime novel.
Mr. Rubinstein also Executive Produced (with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) “The Vernon Johns Story,” a 1994 two-hour TV movie starring James Earl Jones, which received four Monte Carlo TV Festival Awards and a Christopher Award for “A TV Program Affirming the Highest Values of the Human Spirit.” Rubinstein has also served as Executive Producer on two very successful syndicated anthology TV series distributed by Tribune Entertainment, “Tales From The Darkside” (90 episodes) and “Monsters” (72 episodes), with many well known actors in the lead roles including Jerry Orbach and Jerry Stiller as well as then up-and-coming talents like Chris Noth ("Law & Order"), Lisa Bonet and Marcia Cross ("Desperate Housewives").
Born in Brooklyn, NYC, Mr. Rubinstein received his undergraduate BS. degree from The American University in Washington, D.C. and received his M.B.A. from Columbia University in NYC. He began his film career as a production assistant for a producer of TV commercials, and he received his first credit as Associate Producer of “A Night with Nicol Williamson,” a made-for-pay-cable one-hour special produced by Dore Schary. In 1974, Rubinstein independently produced and licensed to the ABC Network a one-hour special profiling O. J. Simpson at the height of his football career. He then produced “The Winners,” a syndicated TV series of twelve one-hour biographical profiles of other well-known sports heroes including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mario Andretti, Reggie Jackson, and Franco Harris.
Mr. Rubinstein is a member of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is also a Partner of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a former twenty-year member of the National Advisory Board of the Sundance Film Festival and a member of the “Third Decade Council” of the American Film Institute. In addition, he served for six years on the Board of Directors of the New York founding chapter of The Independent Feature Project. Mr. Rubinstein is also on the Board of Directors of chashama, a NYC- based non-profit, that matches up emerging artists in need of studio and exhibition space with commercial landlords who have short term vacancies to donate. Mr. Rubinstein regularly guest lectures about his experience in the entertainment industry. He also developed and co-taught a course in “Entrepreneurial Producing” for two semesters at the NYU/Stern Graduate School of Business. In September of 2007, Mr. Rubinstein became a trustee of "THE TOWN HALL", one of New York City's preeminent performance venues.
Richard P Rubinstein
Anthony J Forlenza
RICHARD P RUBINSTEIN, CEO