Stupid is as stupid does — but this movie is anything but.
“Forrest Gump” was released 27 years ago this month and it’s still as quotable as ever. The 1994 Tom Hanks and Robin Wright-led, Oscar-winning romantic dramedy captivated the hearts of moviegoers with its philosophical quips and heartfelt plot lines.
The Robert Zemeckis-directed film is still beloved by many viewers almost three decades on. Interest in the movie was reignited when Netflix’s documentary series “The Movies That Made Us,” released its second season July 23. “Forrest Gump” was the subject of the fourth episode where filmmakers discussed its legacy and how the set was unfortunately marred with issues.
Here’s what you may not have known about “Forrest Gump.”
The original script was different than the film now
“Forrest Gump” was based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The author actually went to write the first draft of the flick before it went into production.
Forrest was supposed to be a heavier man who sat at 242 pounds and stood at 6-foot-6. In the book, he became a wrestler, went to space and even hung out with an orangutan.
The Netflix doc revealed that the script went through development hell for months and several drafts were written. The script was seen as a “mess” and screenwriter Eric Roth ultimately wrote the final draft. Roth later won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1995.
The movie was scrapped by several production companies early on
Warner Bros. was first attached at the helm to produce the film. However, after the success of 1988’s “Rain Man,” the studio opted not to move forward with “Forrest Gump.” Executives felt the “appetite” for a film of a dramatic, tug-at-your-heartstrings movie had already been fulfilled.
When Kevin Jones, a Warner Bros. exec, moved to Paramount, he took Roth’s script with him. And alas, Paramount scored the Oscar-winning gold with the film that said that “life was like a box of chocolates.”
Hanks and Zemeckis saved the movie from being shut down
The budget for the flick was a mere $55 million — yes, that’s small for the film biz — and before shooting began, Paramount actually wanted to cut the budget by $10 million. Sherry Lansing, CEO of Paramount at the time claimed that the movie was too expensive to make and wanted to cut iconic scenes such as the shrimp boat and Vietnam War battles.
Hanks and Zemeckis decided to contribute parts of their salaries to make up the difference in budget cuts. Their acts allowed shooting to begin in August 1993.
Paramount also suggested that Forrest’s famous running scene be cut as the shooting schedule was reaching its deadline. Zemeckis even went so far as to hire Hanks’ brother Jim to be his double in all of the running scenes so production could shoot in multiple areas at one time.
Zemeckis and Hanks then had to fork over another $1.5 million so that the last scene left to be shot in Monument Valley, Arizona, could go on without a hitch. The studio had found out about Hank’s brother being his double and Paramount said they would not pay for the shoot.