The making of Forrest Gump, which was released 20 years ago this month — it ultimately became the highest-grossing movie of 1994 and won six Oscars, including Best Picture — was full of as many offbeat adventures as its titular hero experiences in the film’s narrative, including a family free-for-all that helped screenwriter Eric Roth assemble Bubba’s legendary list of ways to prepare shrimp. But what few people know is that Roth, who wrote Gump on a typewriter and also wrote the screenplay for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, wrote a sequel to Gump under a veil of secrecy. Here, for the first time, Roth shares what that sequel might have looked like.
“Forrest Gump 2 starts, literally, hours after the first movie ends, with Forrest sitting on the famous bench, talking to another stranger, waiting to pick up his son from school. It had some great ingredients in it, and Forrest, of course, finds himself in the middle of memorable historical moments, touched by them sometimes, influencing them sometimes. Like the first film, it was sweet and funny and dramatic and full of fancy. We had Forrest in the back of O.J. Simpson’s Bronco, where he was unseen. I had Forrest become a ballroom dancer and tour the world in competitions and, eventually, dance with Princess Diana. Forrest had a nice love story and a second child, which is bittersweet after his first son dies of AIDS. And there’s a big event at the end, which I wouldn’t tell you. … I don’t think we’ll see Forrest Gump 2 ever, and maybe that’s for the best. It might be a story best left alone. But it is really good.”