How 9/11 stopped a ‘Forrest Gump’ sequel focused on ‘tragic’ America
Mar 22, 2019
A “Forrest Gump” sequel was a very real possibility back in the early 2000s.
Screenwriter Eric Roth told Yahoo! Entertainment this week that he turned in the script for the sequel film “the day before 9/11” in 2001.
The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City changed how executives viewed the potential film.
- “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,” he said.
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) March 20, 2019
Roth, who co-wrote “A Star is Born,” elaborated on the film’s plot.
- “It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS,” Roth said. “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 reportedly going to ride in OJ Simpsons’ white Ford Bronco and even dance with Princess Diana, according to Uproxx.
Roth explained more about a specific scene that wouldn’t sit well 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.”
Numbers: “Forrest Gump” earned $677 million worldwide during its box office run, according to Box Office Mojo. The film was nominated for 13 Oscars and won for best picture, best director (Robert Zemeckis), best actor (Tom Hanks) and best-supporting actor (Gary Sinise).