Barry Sonnenfeld attends the premiere of Men In Black 3 at Odeon, Leicester Square. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Barry Sonnenfeld Turned Down Forrest Gump To Direct The Addams Family Sequel
In the 1990s there may not have been two more different films than “Addams Family Values” and “Forest Gump,” with the former representing the bleak dissatisfaction of the decade and the latter reinforcing the American status quo. Although Sonnenfeld was set to direct “Forest Gump,” he ultimately chose to pursue “Addams Family Values” and never looked back.
Sonnenfeld was integral to “Forrest Gump,” and even got Tom Hanks involved. He recalled, “[Producer] Gary Lucchesi had sent me this book called 'Forrest Gump' and he said read it and tell me we need to do […] I said, 'Let's change the main character […] to a thin guy that runs all the time and I'll send it to Hanks […] Hanks loved it. He signed on, I was signed on to direct it."
When Paramount chose to pursue an “Addams Family” sequel, Sonnenfeld was faced with “a choice between staying with 'Forrest Gump' or going back to the very first thing I'd ever directed.” Ultimately, it was Michael J. Fox’s advice — “'You set the table with "Addams Family," now you need to go have dinner’” — that prompted Sonnenfeld’s decision.