A Forrest Gump Sequel Was Entertained For All Of 40 Minutes

When one thinks of classic movies from the '90s, "Forrest Gump" is likely right near the top of that list for many. Not only has the film managed to endure for three decades, but it was an Oscar-winning sensation that helped propel Tom Hanks to superstardom, winning Best Actor for his role as the lovable lead character. It also began a longstanding professional relationship between Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis.

But one of the most notable things about "Forrest Gump" is the fact that it made $678 million against a $55 million budget. That success led Paramount Pictures (as one would expect) to at least explore a possible sequel. But Hanks, speaking on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast recently while promoting Disney's new live-action "Pinocchio," which Zemeckis also directed, explained that those sequel talks didn't last very long.

"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. And then we never...we said, 'Guys, come on.'"

It isn't news that a sequel was discussed but it's the fact that Hanks and Zemeckis didn't even entertain the idea for a full hour before putting it to bed. An integrity move, to be certain. And, in the end, it was probably for the best.

Tom Hanks never puts himself in a box

Some of what was pitched for "Forrest Gump 2" has made it into the world over the years and, to say the least of it, the movie probably would have been a disaster. Luckily, Hanks made better decisions. In the years that immediately followed, he starred in "Apollo 13," "Toy Story," "Saving Private Ryan," and "You've Got Mail." Not to mention the fact that he starred in and directed "That Thing You Do." All of this was made possible because Hanks was not committed to doing a sequel, and that's something he's made sure to stick to throughout his entire career.

"A smart thing I did is I've never signed a contract that had a contractual obligation to a sequel. 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.'"

So the only reason "Toy Story 2" (and 3 and 4) exist is because Hanks genuinely thought there was a reason to do them. And it's why he didn't get stuck making "Cast Away Again" or "The Greener Mile," for example. Instead, he went on to earn three more Oscar nominations for his work and has generated literally billions at the box office through his consistently great work, rather than being anchored to a sequel nobody needs.

"Pinocchio" is now streaming on Disney+.