It’s hard to downplay what a cultural juggernaut Forrest Gump was when it hit theaters in 1994. A sequel seemed like a sure thing to screenwriter Eric Roth, who filed his first draft of Gump 2: Still Gumpin’ on September 10, 2001. “Literally, I turned it in the day before 9/11,” Roth told Yahoo Entertainment. “Tom [Hanks] and I and Bob [Zemeckis] got together on 9/11 to sort of commiserate about how life was in America and how tragic it was. And we looked at each other and said, ‘This movie has no meaning anymore, in that sense.’”
Forrest Gump: The Squeakquel would have featured Tom Hanks running through moments in the latter quarter of the 20th century, starting with the AIDS crisis. “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 [their] kids having to go to school with the kid who had AIDS,” said Roth. Forrest would then dance with Princess Diana, hiding in the back of OJ’s Bronco, and losing a Native American love interest in the Oklahoma City bombing. But sure, including 9/11 would have made it tone deaf.