Ah, what could have been! We finally know why a Forrest Gump sequel never happened — and what its story would have been like.
Eric Roth, who wrote the screenplay for Robert Zemeckis‘ 1994 classic — which was based on Winston Groom‘s 1986 novel of the same name — recently revealed to Yahoo Entertainment why we never got to see Tom Hanks return to play the iconic role once more. The answer? Just bad timing.
“Literally, I turned [a script draft] in the day before 9/11,” Eric, who cowrite 2018’s A Star Is Born, explained. “And Tom and I and Bob 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.'”
As for why the tragedy blocked Eric’s script from coming to fruition, that’s a specific reason for that.
“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,” Eric dished. “So when 9/11 happened … everything felt meaningless.”
While we never got one on the big screen, Winston wrote a book follow-up titled Gump & Co. in 1995.
As for what Forrest Gump 2 might have been about, Eric — who is cowriting 2020’s Dune remake — shared a few plot details. It would have hit on topics like the AIDS epidemic and segregation, while having Forrest interact people like Princes Diana and O.J. Simpson.
Roberts’ masterpiece starred Tom as an Alabama man who, though he wasn’t the brightest, had a very kind heart. We see him throughout several decades of his life as he goes through and influences history. The film went on to win six Oscars — including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Perhaps a Forrest Gump sequel could still happen. After all, life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re gonna get.