Someone – I can’t quite remember who – once said that life is like a box of chocolates, because you never know what you’re going to get.
Take the movie Forrest Gump for example: no one could have guessed that the film about a simple man from Alabama who lived through some of his era’s most historic events would become a global sensation that racked in hundreds of millions at the box office.
It turns out the multi-Oscar-winning movie was once set to get a sequel, with plans for Forrest to stumble through even more famous events in the 1990s and beyond.
Although the movie was canceled, screenwriter Eric Roth revealed to Yahoo Entertainment some of the adventures that were in store for Tom Hanks’ most iconic character before the project was scrapped.
The sequel was supposed to pick up where the first film left off, revealing that Forrest’s son Forrest Junior had contracted AIDS from his mother, Jenny.
“People wouldn’t go to class with (Forrest Jr.) in Florida,” Roth said.
“We had a funny sequence where they were (desegregation) busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the bussing or (their) kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So there was a big conflict.”
Then, Forrest was supposed to run into some famous faces, just like he did in the original film. But instead of another U.S. president, Forrest was meant to cross paths with O.J. Simpson during his infamous slow-speed police chase.
“I had (Forrest) in the back of (O.J. Simpson’s) Bronco,” Roth remembered. “He would look up occasionally, but they didn’t see him in the rearview mirror, and then he’d pop down.”
A stint as a ballroom dancer would even lead Forrest to share a dance with Princess Diana before her death in 1997.
In what might have been one of the film’s most moving scenes, Forrest was also meant to be on the scene of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, waiting for his new love interest outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Here’s how Roth described the scene:
(Forrest) 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.
That, Roth revealed, was one of the major reasons the planned sequel was shelved. He explained that the script was handed in just one day before the 9/11 attacks.
“Tom and I and [director Rom 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.'”
But the original film’s star, Tom Hanks, is obviously still thinking about Forrest and the sorts of adventures he would get up to today.
In a 2014 interview with USA Today, the actor proposed even more recent adventures for the hapless do-gooder:
“All the political figures would be too obvious, so Forrest would have chatted up both [Facebook creators] Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins about how it would be nice if you had a book that would show a person’s face and make a friend,” he said.
“Forrest would have been in New Orleans for (2005 hurricane) Katrina where his own common sense would have saved him and others,” he added.
“Momma would have told him to go high when the waters rise. Bubba would have taught him about boats and Lt. Dan would come and find him.”
[H/T: Yahoo Entertainment]