ShoWest Screenwriter of the Year: Bruce Joel Rubin

Long ago, at the end of the psychedelic 1960s, Rubin hitchhiked around the world, embarking on a spiritual trek to India, Nepal and Southeast Asia.

Three decades later, he has extended that journey into a screenwriting career that consistently explores the mysterious.

“More than anything, it’s what I want to put into film,” says Rubin, who just turned 64. “I call it more or less celebration, a celebratory element in terms of the human experience.

“But I don’t limit the experience to the material world. I guess that’s where I’m a little different. I don’t think we’re a purely material form. I just think we exist in so many dimensional ways.

“So the human experience to me is a big experience, and I try to imply that if nothing else in my films.”

Rubin, who won a 1990 original screenplay Oscar for “Ghost,” admits that he sometimes goes too far with that idea, at least as far as studio executives are concerned.

“So they always pull me back from the edge,” he says. “But if I owned my own studio, I would make pretty blatant films about how amazing we human souls are.”

There was some pulling back from that thesis, he says, on his latest film, “The Last Mimzy,” starring Rhiannon Leigh Wryn. But New Line topper Bob Shaye, who commissioned and directed the script (Rubin shares credit with Toby Emmerich) calls him “the perfect guy” for the job.

“He brings a soul and humanity to the story which in the hands of a less capable writer would be something that just focuses on gimmicks,” Shaye says.

The ShoWest Screenwriter of the Year honor was unexpected, Rubin says, but “it’s a nice moment of recognition, in terms of feeling in so many ways as a writer invisible in the business, invisible period.

“Having this recognition sort of rekindles a kind of light that I’m grateful for.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more