A 'Forrest Gump' Bollywood Remake Is In The Works – Could It Actually Work?

Forrest Gump is running over to India. The Tom Hanks-starring Oscar winner is getting a Hindi-language remake courtesy of Bollywood, following a long tradition of Hollywood movies that have gotten a Bollywood remake or knock-off. The Forrest Gump Bollywood remake will be titled Lal Singh Chadha and is set to star Indian superstar Aamir Khan.

Like Forrest Gump's famous catchphrase, you really don't know what you're gonna get in the world of movie news. In this case, it's a Forrest Gump Bollywood remake. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Forrest Gump will be getting the Bollywood treatment in a film titled Lal Singh Chadha starring Aamir Khan, one of the most popular and influential actors of Indian cinema.

Khan will play the lead role based on the character of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but kind man from Alabama who finds himself at the center of several defining historical events in the 20th century. Hanks won an Oscar for his performance as the title character in the 1994 film directed by Robert Zemeckis, which was based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The saccharine melodrama earned six Oscars in total, including Best Picture, and was a critical and commercial hit — though its status as a modern classic has been questioned by critics that dinged its sentimentality and simplistic portrait of history. But one thing that people can agree on about Forrest Gump: it's an inarguably American story, marked by a rosy view of the country's values and troubled history. Could it possibly translate to a Bollywood movie?

I say yes. Bollywood has had no trouble remaking Hollywood classics into Hindi-language films — so much so that when the trailer for A Star is Born came out, Bollywood lovers were certain it was a rip-off of the Indian musical Aashiqui 2 (which itself was based on the 1937 A Star Is Born). Bollywood has shamelessly remade or produced knock-offs of Hollywood movies for a long time, and in some cases they're even better than the originals. In this case, Khan's banner Aamir Khan Films actually has acquired the rights from Paramount to officially remake Forrest Gump into Lal Singh Chadha, which will be directed by Advait Chandan and produced by Viacom's Indian film unit, Viacom18 Motion Pictures.

The story at the center of Forrest Gump could be made into a universal one: a (probably) mentally-challenged man finds himself at the center of several historical events and manages to change the lives of people around him for the better, with a little of crowd-pleasing nationalism thrown in. It's ripe for a Bollywood remake, which Khan acknowledged when he announced the project. "I have always loved Forrest Gump as a script," he said at a media event in Mumbai. "It is a wonderful story about this character. It is a feel-good film. It is a film for the whole family."

The film will reportedly start shooting in October 2019. Look forward to a musical rendition of "(Life Is Like) A Box of Chocolates."