A somewhat bizarre sequel to Forrest Gump was completed by its writer Eric Roth in 2001 – but 9/11 stopped the project from ever seeing the light of day.
Despite grossing over $678 million (£515 million) and triumphing at the Oscars, the 1994 movie has never received a follow-up.
But Roth now says a sequel nearly happened, after he filed a completed draft of the script to director Robert Zemeckis on 10 September, 2001.
However, the tragic events of the following day meant that the movie never happened. Both Tom Hanks and the film’s producers believed that the era-defining tragedy meant that a sequel wouldn’t be deemed important or relevant to the audience.
Roth also revealed the plot to Yahoo Entertainment – and perhaps it’s remained as a script for the right reasons.
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) March 20, 2019
As well as following Forrest Junior’s struggles living with Aids, the film would also see a chance encounter with OJ Simpson.
“I had him in the back of OJ [Simpson]’s Bronco, and that he would look up occasionally and they didn’t see him in the rear-view mirror,” Roth explained.
“I had him as a ballroom dancer, and eventually as a charity thing he danced with Princess Diana.”
Describing the plot involving Forrest’s son, he added: “It was gonna start with his little boy having Aids,’ he said. “And people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida.
I'm glad they didn't make the Forrest Gump sequel, awful awful awful
— sab ? (@supersaches) March 21, 2019
Holy shit Eric Roth wrote a sequel to Forrest Gump that would’ve destroyed the legacy of the original by being so hilariously awful, but 9/11 stopped it from happening. pic.twitter.com/1GRRKqLLJK
— ?Ross Bolen (@WRBolen) March 21, 2019
“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.”
Another plot line would have seen Forrest becoming friends with a Native American woman who was killed in the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995.
“So when 9/11 occurred … everything felt meaningless,” said Roth.
Reacting to Roth’s comments on social media, fans of the beloved original argued that the decision to cancel the sequel is probably for the best.
“The unmade Forrest Gump sequel is the stuff of nightmares,” said one Twitter user.