Many films have been lost to Hollywood’s proverbial cutting room floor, one of which was a Forrest Gump sequel. Screenwriter Eric Roth wrote a treatment for what could happen to Tom Hanks‘ Oscar-winning character after becoming a father. In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Roth went in deeper about what this movie would’ve been like — and it involved Princess Diana and O.J. Simpson.
“I had him [Forrest] in the back of O.J.’s Bronco,” Roth said while looking back on his script. “He would look up occasionally, they didn’t see him in the rearview mirror, then he’d pop down.”
“I had him as a ballroom dancer who was really good,” he added. “He could do the ballroom dancing and eventually, just as a charity kind of thing, he danced with Princess Diana. So those kind of things we had.”
In the finale of Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis, Forrest reunites with Jenny, who introduces their son, Forrest Gump Jr. (played by a young Haley Joel Osment). Tragically, Jenny reveals she’s sick with an incurable disease and later succumbs to her illness.
The sequel would’ve begun “with his little boy having AIDS and people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida,” according to Roth. “We actually had a funny sequence where they were bussing in Florida at the same time so that people were angry about either the bussing or the kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So it was a big conflict.”
Hanks, Zemeckis, and Roth decided to scrap the film after the events of 9/11. “I wrote the sequel, literally I turned it in the day before 9/11 and Tom and I and Bob got together on 9/11 to commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was,” Roth recalled. “And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore,’ in that sense.”
One of the big planned plot points of the sequel would’ve followed Forrest, finding his calling as a Bingo caller on a reservation, befriending a Native American woman. As Roth explains, “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.”
“When 9/11 occurred,” Roth added, “I think we felt maybe everything we had written was meaningful and everything felt meaningless.”