The “Elvis” actor revealed during the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast (via The Independent) that the idea for a potential sequel to “Forrest Gump” was shut down almost immediately after the success of the first film.
“I will say that, with a long time in between, we did take a stab at talking about another ‘Forrest Gump’ that lasted all of 40 minutes,” Hanks shared. “And then we never, we said, ‘Guys, come on.'”
In the era of multiple sequels, reboots, and requels, Hanks added that there is no “obligation” to reprise his famed role of Forrest after the 1994 original movie. Hanks played an earnest Vietnam War veteran with an IQ of 75 who accidentally partakes in the most pivotal pop culture moments of the mid-20th century.
“A smart thing I did is I’ve never signed a contract that had a contractual obligation to a sequel,” Hanks said. “I’ve always said, ‘Guys, if there’s a reason to do it, let’s do it. But you guys can’t force me.’ There is that natural inclination that is one of pure commerce that says, ‘Hey, you just had a hit, so do it again, and you’ll have a hit.'”
With “Top Gun: Maverick” breaking box office records and numerous retellings of famed ’80s and ’90s films like “Road House” and “Dirty Dancing” in the works, perhaps more Forrest will be on its way. As the film ended, Forrest is now a father mourning the love of his life, Jenny. But until then, the Bollywood remake of the Oscar-winning film is the only recent reboot.
Hanks previously paid out of pocket for select “Forrest Gump” scenes, including Forrest’s run across America, after Paramount Pictures balked at increasing the production budget. Hanks split the production costs with director Robert Zemeckis in exchange for a profit-sharing deal with Paramount. Hanks earned an estimated $65 million with the expanded box office percentage deal for fronting production costs.
Earlier this year, Hanks admitted he was “self-conscious” to “get into the groove” of playing Forrest.
“‘We’re not going to use any of these first three days because I don’t think you’ve got it. You haven’t got the character,’” Hanks recalled Zemeckis telling him on set. “‘Don’t try so hard.’”
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn weighed in on the controversies behind “Forrest Gump” as part of the film’s 25th anniversary in 2019. The “problematic” Academy Award winner, per Kohn, “presents a grinning idiot savant as epitomizing everything about America, suggesting that he could catapult to fame and fortune he doesn’t really earn, while people enduring genuine struggles to make a difference in the world struggle all the way to the grave.”