Featured Answer: How long was Bill Murray’s character supposed to be in a time loop in the film “Groundhog Day”?

February 2nd is Groundhog Day.

How long was Bill Murray’s character supposed to be in a time loop in the film “Groundhog Day”? was asked by aceinthehole and originally answered on October 20, 2011 by DVK. He cited several different statements from the director Harold Ramis. The question quickly drew thousands of views and the answer was accepted.

Roughly 4 months later (5 days after the question was circulated on Groundhog Day) a new answer was submitted. Screenwriter of “Groundhog Day” Danny Rubin submitted this answer.

Allow me to jump in here. Hi everyone. As mentioned above my original intent was that Phil would live for longer than a single lifetime. That was the point of the original script: to see how a person might change if he lived longer than one lifetime (it was always about a man who could not escape life). The studio felt that the loop shouldn’t last longer than two weeks. They were afraid the audience would freak out if it lasted any longer. Because my bookcase calendar (also mentioned above) was a specific record of passing time, Harold chose to remove it from the script, and in that way he could tell the studio it lasted two weeks or whatever and nobody could point to anything in the script that contradicted that. This explains why the length of Phil’s incarceration strikes so many as a mystery: it was designed to be a mystery. Still, the sensibility of the characters as they progressed I think required a guiding clock, and Harold provided that. His sense was that it lasted about ten years, and I think the movie reflects that sensibility.

Still, I think it’s fun the way people keep guessing and counting and arguing. My answer shouldn’t discourage that pursuit. Who ever said that I know what I’m talking about, anyhow?

This answer was accepted and became the 4th highest voted answer on the site (203 votes at the time of this article). The “Word of God” is a powerful thing.

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