‘Forrest Gump’ Was Supposed To Get A Sequel, But Then 9/11 Happened And ‘Everything Felt Meaningless’

Senior Pop Culture Editor
03.20.19

Paramount

It’s not a stretch to call 1994’s Forrest Gump one of the most successful movies of all-time. Robert Zemeckis’ crowd-pleaser made over $677 million at the box office, won six Oscars (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor), and placed #71 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list (it was later bumped to #76). It even spawned a successful seafood restaurant chain. Lawrence of Arabia ain’t got sh*t on the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Forrest Gump, which is probably much weirder than you remember (there’s a reason this guy sang “Gump”), was supposed to have a sequel, but then, uh, 9/11 happened.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth told Yahoo! Entertainment that he turned in the script for Forrest Gump 2 “the day before 9/11,” also known as 9/10. “And [Tom Hanks] and I and [Robert Zemeckis] got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was. And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore,’ in that sense.” Imagine that conversation: the Towers fall, the country is in chaos, and Tom Hanks and the guy who directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit are discussing the sequel to a movie where Forrest Gump, a character named after the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tells John F. Kennedy that he’s “gotta pee.”

“It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS,” Roth (who also wrote or co-wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and A Star is Born) continued. “And people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida. We had a funny sequence where they were [desegregation] busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the busing, or [their] kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So there was a big conflict.” Forrest was also going to ride in OJ Simpson’s Ford Bronco and dance with Princess Diana.

Then there was the scene that felt “meaningless” after 9/11.

“He meets on a bus a Native American woman and finds his calling, as a bingo caller on a reservation. And the big event in that, which you could see was diminished only in tragedy, I guess, because it’s the same tragedy, but every day he’d go wait for his Native American partner. She taught nursery school at a government building in Oklahoma City. And he was sitting on the bench waiting for her to have lunch and all of a sudden the building behind him blows up… So when 9/11 occurred… everything felt meaningless.” (Via)

Well! Forrest Gump 2 never happened, but we’re getting the next best thing: a Bollywood remake! Check out the interview with Roth below.

(Via Yahoo! Entertainment)

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