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'Forrest Gump' screenwriter reveals why a planned sequel was scrapped

A planned follow-up to the 1994 classic had Forrest popping up in the O.J. Simpson car chase and dancing with Princess Diana.
/ Source: TODAY

Forrest Gump almost rode in the back of O.J. Simpson's Bronco and danced with Princess Diana.

The screenwriter for the Oscar-winning classic "Forrest Gump" has shared details of what a sequel to the 1994 Tom Hanks hit was going to look like until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, prompted the filmmakers to scrap the idea entirely.

Forrest Gump's journey almost continued into the 1990s in a sequel that was shelved after 9/11. Sunset Boulevard

Screenwriter Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for his work on the 1994 movie, shared plot points for the sequel that never came to fruition in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment. The sequel was meant to be loosely based on the 1995 book "Gump & Co." by Winston Groom, who wrote the 1986 book that the Robert Zemeckis film was based on.

Forrest would go from popping up at pivotal events in the '60s, '70s and '80s to ones in the 1990s.

"I had him in the back of O.J.’s Bronco," Roth said in reference to the famous 1994 car chase. "He would look up occasionally, but they didn’t see him in the rearview mirror, and then he’d pop down."

Forrest was also going to mingle with royalty.

"I had him as a ballroom dancer who was really good - he could do the (rotation) ballroom dancing,'' Roth said. "And then eventually, just as sort of a charity kind of thing, he danced with Princess Diana."

He also had a character arc worked out for Forrest's son, played by Haley Joel Osment in the movie, after the loss of his mother, played by Robin Wright, who dies in the movie from a virus that is suggested to be HIV/AIDs.

"It was gonna start with his little boy having AIDS," Roth said. "And people wouldn’t go to class with him in Florida. We had a funny sequence where they were (desegregation) busing in Florida at the same time, so people were angry about either the busing, or kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS. So there was a big conflict."

Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise in the 1994 classic. Sunset Boulevard

Roth told Yahoo he turned the script in on Sept. 10, 2001. The terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., a day later changed everything once he met with Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis.

"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.'''