It’s been thirteen years since Forrest Gump first ran into theaters, and now it looks like America’s favorite chocolate loving mental deficient may be back for a sequel. Forrest Gump II isn’t a new idea, Paramount has been kicking it around since the original movie made a bajillion dollars, and in 2001 they even hired Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth to pen a sequel screenplay.
It seems that old 2001 Eric Roth screenplay is being dragged out of development hell for another look by Gump producers Steve Tisch and Wendy Finerman. Remember that the first Forrest Gump movie was based on a novel by Winston Groom. Roth’s sequel script was based on Groom’s followup novel, “Gump & Co”. “Gump & Co” takes place several years after “Forrest Gump” and finds Forrest’s shrimping business failed and Jenny dead, leaving Forrest a single unemployed father. As you’d expect, Gump still stumbles through more important historical events. In this case it’s a cavalcade of history from the 80s and 90s. He even meets Tom Hanks.
So, why didn’t Paramount make this five years ago when Roth first wrote the script? Apparently the project got bogged down in a big legal tiff between Groom, the book’s original author, and the studio. Groom claimed he wasn’t properly paid for Forrest Gump, and so refused to sell them the sequel rights to his other book. Evidently they’ve now worked it out.
The truly important question here is whether or not Tom Hanks will return. It is however likely that Gary Sinise will be back as Forrest’s battle damaged buddy Lt. Dan. If Tom can’t be talked into it, will they replace him? Word is they want this in theaters within the next couple of years, so while it’s possible, let’s hope they’re smart enough to scrap it if he’s not interested. No one does a better potty dance.