With any successful film in Hollywood, there’s always the temptation to drain it of all of its life force with the creation of approximately 1-4 sequels. The same impulse came knocking for Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis when it came to Forrest Gump, the box office powerhouse and Academy Award winner.
While a sequel novel—Gump and Co.—was penned in 1995, a follow-up film never came fully into fruition. In fact, like popping a Plan B, the idea was terminated 40 minutes after conception.
“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,” Hanks says in a new episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, per Variety. “And then we never…we said, ‘Guys, come on.’”
Exactly—“Guys, come on.” For all we know, it might have ended up looking like Speed 2, with Gump taking a round-the-world trip on one of his shrimping boats, eventually getting caught up in the Cold War, somehow. But Hanks seems well aware of the potential downfalls of sequels, which is why he never wants to be roped into one.
“A smart thing I did is I’ve never signed a contract that had a contractual obligation to a sequel,” Hanks says on the podcast. “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.’”
Hanks and Zemeckis would of course go on to work on several non-Forrest Gump projects, including Cast Away and the animated holiday film, The Polar Express. The duo’s next collaboration comes in the form of Disney’s new-ish take on Pinocchio, in which Hanks stars as Geppetto. Pinocchio (2022) makes its streaming debut on Disney+ today, September 8.