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The script for the sequel to “Forrest Gump” was delivered at the wrong time

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forrest gump It premiered in Los Angeles on June 23 thirty years ago, and upon its theatrical release a few weeks later, it quickly won tremendous acclaim from audiences and critics, for its ability to convincingly alternate moments of comedy and drama. It was the highest-grossing film of 1994, and one that is still best remembered by Tom Hanks – who the following year won his second consecutive Academy Award for Best Lead Actor.

Moderated by Robert Zemeckis, Director back to the future, who by that time had already acquired an almost legendary status in the Hollywood industry, rivaling his mentor and colleague Steven Spielberg in terms of fame and ability to convince producers to finance his projects. However, according to many critics, the real strength of the film was the script: it was written by Eric Roth, which was based on important moments in American history – meetings with Elvis Presley and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ping-pong diplomacy, Watergate, segregation – and managed to include them in Light and attractive presentation forrest gump A smooth and enjoyable film to watch despite its length, which may be difficult (142 minutes).

The film also relaunched the career of Winston Groom, the author who 8 years earlier had written the novel of the same name and which Zemeckis and Roth were inspired to create. forrest gump. In 1995, Groome tried to capitalize on the film’s success by releasing it Gump & Cothe literary sequel to forrest gump. Roth read the book, and although he only appreciated some parts of it, he decided to use it as the basis for writing the screenplay for a hypothetical sequel to forrest gump. He started writing it in 1995, but due to his commitments to other films, he was not able to finish it until six years later.

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By late summer 2001, Roth and Zemeckis had the script and were convinced they could make the film. The situation seemed very favorable: no producer would refuse to finance the second part of this beloved and beloved film, and Zemeckis and Roth were two figures who were able to provide the appropriate guarantees to create something worthy of the first. forrest gump. But in the end they had to postpone the project due to a very unfavorable coincidence of timing.

In fact, Roth delivered the script to production company Paramount Pictures on September 10, the day before the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York that killed 2,996 people and injured six thousand more. Roth has Tell He has stated in several interviews that at that time he and Zemeckis understood that the film would never be made.

This is because, in a sense, Forrest Gump 2 It has become obsolete due to the developments of that event. Roth wanted to make a fun, optimistic film, somewhat like the first one, but the events of September 11 profoundly changed Western logic. In fact, in the following days, the US government’s response to the attacks was entirely focused on the so-called “war on terror” and thus on the idea that to defend the United States, punishing the perpetrators of the attacks was not enough. It is the worst terrorist attack in US history, but it is also necessary to act decisively to eliminate any other potential threat from abroad.

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In this climate of fear and profound uncertainty, Roth thought the film was worth it Forrest Gump 2 It had no reason for its existence: it was explained by V Interview Given to the cinema newspaper SlashFilmwhere he said that after the events of September 11, the scenario now seemed irrelevant to him and inappropriate “for a changed world.”

Roth also talked about the opening scene he had in mind Forrest Gump 2: It was meant to be a continuation of the end of the first film, with Gump sitting on a bench waiting for his son, Forrest Gump Jr., to return from school. The son was infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, a disease that infects forrest gump It causes the death of his co-star, Jenny Curran (played by Robin Wright).

Furthermore, according to Roth’s revelations, the sequel should have included moments similar to those that made the first film famous, such as Gump’s tendency to become the protagonist of several defining moments of America’s political and cultural history in the second half of 2018. .

Interviewed by film journalist Kevin Polloy, Roth a statement Some of these moments. He said, for example, that the film should have contained references to the life of former American football player OJ Simpson and to the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995, in which American terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols exploded on April 19, 1995. The air hit the building Federal US government, killing 168 people.

In Roth’s idea, Gump was supposed to accidentally meet a teacher of Native American descent on a public transit bus in Oklahoma City, who would die shortly after in the explosion of the federal building in which her kindergarten was located. The OJ Simpson reference should have been a comedic revival of the famous 1994 car chase.

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Talk of the possibility of producing the film resurfaced in 2007, when Roth made a series of calls to Paramount to evaluate the feasibility of the project: but in the end, nothing came of it. According to Roth, the choice not to produce the film was the right choice, because “some things should be left as they are.”

In 2022, he was interviewed on an episode of Podcasts Happy sad confusedHanks said that when Zemeckis and Roth approached him about playing Gump in the sequel, he initially considered the idea, but quickly rejected the offer. “One of the smart things I did was I never signed a contract stating a contractual obligation for a sequel,” said Hanks, who believes that operations of this kind in most cases only lead to the destruction of successful and beloved films and characters by the audience.

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