The story of Forrest Gump, notable not just for Tom Hanks’ award-winning performance in the film but also for the nods to defining historical events, has seen more than a few demands for a movie sequel. Others, however, may wish it to remain untouched by further adaptions for fear of ruining the sanctity of the cult classic. And while this is a valid concern, the details of the what a sequel would look like are so wild they would pique any fans’ interests.
In an interview with Yahoo!, the film’s Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth spilled all of the details about the proposed sequel and explained why it was never made. Based on the original novel’s sequel — Gump and Co. — the script was actually written in 2001. Roth noted that he “turned it in” on September 9 that year, and days later, 9/11 happened. After that tragedy, Roth stated that he, Hanks, and director Robert Zemeckis all felt everything was “meaningless.”
“Tom and I and Bob got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was,” he said, “And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore, in that sense.'”
Discussing the details of the sequel, he went on to answer one of the greatest questions fans had following the first film and revealed all of the nods to history that would have been made throughout the sequel. According to Roth, Forrest Gump’s son, Forrest Gump Jr., would have — as some fans hypothesized — contracted the HIV virus (spoilers ahead) from his mother.
“It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS,” he said, “And people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida. We had a funny sequence where they were [de-segregating] busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the busing, or [their] kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So, there was a big conflict.”
Given the original film saw Gump jump from historical events of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, the sequel would also see both him and his son partake in some seminal moments in history. From dancing with Princess Diana to car-chasing with O.J. Simpson, Gump and Co. sounds like it would’ve taken us on a wild, emotional ride.
“I had him in the back of O.J.’s Bronco,” he continued, referencing the 1994 police pursuit of O.J. Simpson following his double-murder charge. “He would look up occasionally, but they didn’t see him in the rear-view mirror, and then he’d pop down.”
“I had him as a ballroom dancer who was really good, he could do the [rotation] ballroom dancing,” Roth stated. “And then eventually, just as sort of a charity kind of thing, he danced with Princess Diana.”
His final detail of the movie also explains why in the minds of him and his colleagues the film would not have been well received were it to go ahead at the time.
“He meets on a bus a Native American woman and finds his calling, as a bingo caller on a reservation,” Roth explained. “And the big event in that, which you could see was diminished only in tragedy, I guess, because it’s the same tragedy, but every day he’d go wait for his Native American partner. She taught nursery school at a government building in Oklahoma City. And he was sitting on the bench waiting for her to have lunch and all of a sudden, the building behind him blows up… So, when 9/11 occurred… everything felt meaningless.”
It is certainly clear why the film was better left unmade, and ultimately saved them from what would have been another problematic ’00s nightmare.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia.