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Why didn’t they make a Forrest Gump 2?

Forrest Gump was a hugely successful film that came out in 1994 and starred Tom Hanks as the lovable, yet simple Forrest Gump. The film chronicled Forrest’s accidental journey through life and major historical events in the 20th century. It won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, and Best Actor for Tom Hanks. With the film’s immense popularity and acclaim, many have wondered why a sequel was never made.

Why was Forrest Gump so successful?

There are several reasons why Forrest Gump resonated with audiences and critics alike:

  • Tom Hanks gave an Oscar-worthy performance as the innocent and kindhearted Forrest. He made the character very likable and relatable.
  • The visual effects seamlessly placed Forrest into archived footage with major historical figures and events. This made for entertaining and emotionally impactful scenes.
  • Forrest’s journey through life intersected with major historical events like the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the rise of Elvis Presley and John Lennon. This provided a unique perspective on 20th century American history.
  • The soundtrack was filled with classic songs from each era that Forrest lived through, creating a rich musical backdrop.
  • Forrest’s optimistic attitude and childlike wonder was inspirational, especially with his famous quote “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
  • It had a compelling love story between Forrest and his childhood sweetheart Jenny. Their connection gave the film heart.

With its humor, drama, visual effects, great acting, and emotional weight, Forrest Gump appealed to a wide audience and earned its place as a modern American classic.

Why wasn’t a sequel made?

There are a few key reasons why a sequel to Forrest Gump never materialized:

  • Robert Zemeckis, the director, and Eric Roth, the screenwriter, felt that the original story had a perfect beginning, middle, and end. They did not see a need to continue Forrest’s story.
  • Tom Hanks and Robin Wright, the main stars, did not seem interested in doing a sequel. Without their involvement, it would be difficult to make a worthy follow-up.
  • The original was so acclaimed that a sequel could have diminished its impact. Zemeckis compared it to making a sequel to Gone with the Wind.
  • There was no obvious next chapter for Forrest’s life journey that would live up to the drama and humor of the first film.
  • Zemeckis went on to direct other major films like Cast Away and The Polar Express, while Hanks acted in hits like Saving Private Ryan. They were focused on new projects.

While the possibility of a sequel was floated around Hollywood for many years, the key creators felt it was best left alone as a standalone masterpiece.

Were there any ideas for a sequel?

There were some preliminary ideas that got tossed around for potential Forrest Gump sequels:

  • Forrest becoming an astronaut and going to space.
  • Forrest fathering a child with Jenny and raising the child after her death.
  • Forrest investing in Apple computers and meeting Steve Jobs.
  • Forrest intervening in major events like the OJ Simpson trial or Princess Diana’s death.

However none of these concepts gained much traction with the director, writer, or actors. Eric Roth drafted a sequel screenplay in 2001 where Forrest meets his son and they take an odyssey together. But this draft sat on the shelf for years and was never put into serious development.

Was Forrest Gump ever turned into a book?

While the film was not based on a book, author Winston Groom later adapted his original 1986 Forrest Gump novel after the film became a hit. The novel was re-released in 1995 with Tom Hanks as Forrest on the cover. The book included new material about Forrest’s life that was not in the movie. But the book sequel did not inspire any new films. The popularity and impact of the story has remained defined solely by the 1994 film adaptation.

What other Forrest Gump media exists?

While there is no official film sequel, the Forrest Gump franchise has lived on in other media forms:

  • Video game: A Forrest Gump video game based on the film was released in 1995 for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Players control Forrest through various mini games representing his adventures.
  • Bollywood remake: A Bollywood version of Forrest Gump was released in 2009 titled Laal Singh Chaddha starring Aamir Khan. It follows a similar premise of the main character stumbling through key events in India’s history.
  • Musical: A Forrest Gump stage musical adaptation had brief runs in the U.S., Korea, and Japan in recent years. The play maintains the story beats while adding musical numbers.

While derivative works like these exist, none have matched the popularity and acclaim of the singular original Forrest Gump film.


In summary, despite rumors and some initial ideas, a sequel to Forrest Gump never fully materialized because:

  • The director and writer felt the original story was complete.
  • The main stars showed no interest in returning.
  • There was concern about diluting the impact of the first film.
  • No sequel storyline felt worthy enough to the creators.

The first Forrest Gump stands alone as a one-of-a-kind movie phenomenon that uniquely captured the cultural zeitgeist of its time. While sequels, remakes, and adaptations have attempted to capitalize on its popularity, none have replicated the magic or enduring appeal of the original. After so many years, a sequel seems increasingly unlikely, but the legacy of Forrest and his chocolates lives on.