Forrest Gump is one of the first things people think of when they think of 90s movies. It was a big hit at the time, making almost $680 million – which would be virtually unheard of for a non-franchise gentle comedy drama movie today. And if a movie is that successful nowadays, thoughts immediately turn to an inevitable sequel. Unsurprisingly, this was something that Paramount apparently briefly entertained regarding Gump some time after the release of the hit Tom Hanks movie.
Appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2022, Hanks revealed that a sequel was discussed, but very quickly dismissed. “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.'”
Hanks has a thoughtful approach to sequels, and the only ones he’s appeared in are the Toy Story movies, and the Ron Howard movies based on Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon book series. “A smart thing I did is I’ve never signed a contract that had a contractual obligation to a sequel.”
Hanks continued; “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.'”
In one way, Forrest Gump did become a franchise – as it’s the inspiration for the seafood restaurant chain Bubba Gump. The 90s were a weird time for restaurant tie-ins to movies, with Planet Hollywood having the backing of Hollywood action movie stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis (as well as Willis’ wife at the time, Demi Moore). The actors recruited were paid for their appearances and endorsements through an employee stock ownership plan.
If you’re a fan of Forrest Gump, check out our guide to the best feel-good movies.