Scott Rudin (born July 14, 1958) is an American film producer and a theatrical producer. Rudin started to work as a theatre production assistant at the young age of 16. In lieu of college, he took a job as a casting director and then started his own company. His firm cast many Broadway shows. Rudin moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and started to work at Edgar J. Scherick Associates. He formed his own company, Scott Rudin Productions and his first film was Gillian Armstrong’s Mrs. Soffel. Soon after, he joined 20th Century Fox as an executive producer and eventually became president of production by 1986 at the age of 29. He entered into a producing deal with Paramount, where he stayed for almost 15 years. He eventually moved to Disney where he made movies under the Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Miramax Films labels. In 2012, Rudin became one of the few people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, and the first producer to do so.
Rudin was born and raised in the town of Baldwin, New York, on Long Island. His family was Jewish. At the age of 16, he started working as an assistant to theatre producer Kermit Bloomgarden. Later, he worked for producers Robert Whitehead and Emanuel Azenberg. In lieu of attending college, Rudin took a job as a casting director and ended up starting his own company. His newly minted firm cast numerous Broadway shows, including Annie (1977) for Mike Nichols. He also cast PBS's Verna: USO Girl (1978), starring Sissy Spacek and William Hurt; and "The Scarlet Letter" mini-series (1979) starring Meg Foster, Kevin Conway and John Heard; also, the films King of the Gypsies (1978), The Wanderers (1979), Simon (1980) with Alan Arkin and Resurrection (1980).
In 1980, Rudin moved to Los Angeles, taking up employment at Edgar J. Scherick Associates, where he served as producer on a variety of films including I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1981), the NBC miniseries Little Gloria... Happy at Last (1982) and the Oscar-winning documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983).
Rudin then formed his own company, Scott Rudin Productions. His first film under that banner was Gillian Armstrong's Mrs. Soffel (1984). Not long after, Rudin placed his production shingle in dormancy and joined 20th Century-Fox as an executive producer. At Fox, he met Jonathan Dolgen, a higher-level executive, with whom he would be working once again at Paramount Pictures years later. Rudin rose through the ranks at Fox and became president of production by 1986 at the age of 29. His stint at the top of Fox was short lived though, and he soon left and entered into a producing deal with Paramount.
On August 1, 1992, Rudin signed a deal with Tri-Star Pictures but soon moved back to Paramount. Rudin's first look deal with Paramount Pictures lasted nearly 15 years, producing pictures including Addams Family Values.
After the resignation of Paramount's chairwoman Sherry Lansing in 2004 and nearly simultaneous departure of Jonathan Dolgen (then president of the company), Rudin left the studio and set a five-year first-look pact with Disney that allowed him to make movies under their labels Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Miramax Films, whose founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein had departed. Previously, Harvey Weinstein and Rudin had public confrontations during the production of The Hours (2002), which Rudin produced for Miramax Films after it became a studio subsidiary under Disney. Rudin later said he and Weinstein "are both control freaks. We both want to run our own shows. When I'm doing a Miramax movie, I work for him. And I don't like that feeling. I chafe under that. I especially chafe under it when I feel that I'm on a leash."
In January 2008, two of Rudin's productions—the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men, which they adapted from the Cormac McCarthy book of the same name, and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, which was adapted from the Upton Sinclair novel, Oil!—were nominated for eight Oscars apiece at the 2008 Academy Awards, including a Best Picture nod for each of them. The two films shared the distinction of being the most nominated movie at that year's Oscar ceremony. Ultimately, No Country for Old Men won the Best Picture prize.
At the 2011 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards, Rudin became the only person ever to be nominated twice in one year. He was nominated (along with Dana Brunetti, Cean Chaffin and Michael De Luca) for producing the Facebook biographical film The Social Network and was also nominated (along with Joel and Ethan Coen) for their remake of the classic western True Grit (2010). That same year, the PGA also awarded Rudin the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures which recognizes an individual's outstanding body of work in the field of motion picture production.
Rudin co-produced the unsuccessful staging of David Henry Hwang's Face Value with Stuart Ostrow and Jujamcyn Theaters. He started a deal with Jujamcyn to develop and produce new plays for the theater chain. In 1994, Rudin won the Best Musical Tony Award for his production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion. The following year, he, along with others, produced Kathleen Turner's Broadway comeback, Indiscretions, and Ralph Fiennes' New York theatre debut in Hamlet. In 1996, Rudin produced the revival of the Stephen Sondheim and Larry Gelbart musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which starred Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella and Mark Linn-Baker.
He also produced The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Seven Guitars, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Copenhagen, Deuce, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The History Boys, Beckett/Albee, Closer, The Blue Room, and Doubt. In 2010, he co-produced, along with Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, which garnered ten Tony Award nominations and three wins, including Best Revival of a Play. He has won five Tonys and five Drama Desk Awards for his productions.
Rudin is the lead producer for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, which opened in March 2011 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and won nine Tony Awards including best musical, and also a Grammy Award for Best Musical Album.
In 2015, it was announced that Rudin would produce Groundhog Day, a musical adaptation of the film Groundhog Day, originally starring Bill Murray. Tim Minchin, who penned the award-winning adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, will write the music and lyrics. Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the screenplay for Groundhog Day along with Harold Ramis, will be writing the story. Groundhog Day will open on 9 March 2017.
On December 9, 2014, a major illegal breach of Sony's computer systems by "Guardians of Peace" hackers using Shamoon malware led to disclosure of many gigabytes of stolen information, including internal company documents. In subsequent news coverage SPE Co-Chair Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were noted to have had an email exchange about Pascal's upcoming encounter with President Barack Obama that included characterizations described as racist. Both he and Pascal later apologized.
The two had suggested they should mention films about African-Americans upon meeting the president, such as Django Unchained, Twelve Years a Slave, The Butler, and Amistad which all discuss slavery in the United States or the pre-civil rights era. In the e-mail thread, Rudin added, "I bet he likes Kevin Hart." Rudin later said that the e-mails were "private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity." He added that he was "profoundly and deeply sorry."