“Forrest Gump” screenwriter, Eric Roth, revealed he planned to have Tom Hanks’ character meet Princess Diana and ride in the back of O.J. Simpson’s Bronco in the infamous 1994 car chase before the sequel was ultimately scrapped following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Roth told Yahoo Entertainment on Monday that the plot to the Oscar-winning film’s sequel would have centered on events in the 1990s, but the movie would've begun addressing the health of Forrest Junior, played by Haley Joel Osment. In the first movie, it was implied the boy’s mother, Jenny, played by Robin Wright, died from HIV/AIDS.
“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.”
Like the first film, Gump would be placed in real-life events.
“I had him in the back of O.J.’s [White Ford] Bronco,” Roth said, referring to the 1994 police chase in Los Angeles. “[Gump] would look up occasionally, but they didn’t see him in the rearview mirror, and then he’d pop down.
“I had him as a ballroom dancer who was really good, he could do the [rotation] ballroom dancing. And then eventually, just as sort of a charity kind of thing, he danced with Princess Diana,” the screenwriter added.
Roth told Yahoo Entertainment he ultimately decided not to move forward with “Forrest Gump 2” because the movie wouldn’t have any meaning anymore after the 9/11 attacks.
“Literally, I turned [a draft of the script] in the day before 9/11,” Roth recalled. “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.’”
Roth said his plan for how the sequel would end also made the film meaningless following the terror attacks.
“[Gump] 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,” Roth said.
“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,” he said.
“Forrest Gump” won a slew of awards in 1995, including the Oscars for best picture and for best adapted screenplay.