Run Forrest, Run! Whether or not life is really like a box of chocolates, Forrest Gump is still one of the most quotable movies ever and an iconic role still associated with the great Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for it. In fact, Forrest Gump was nominated for more than a dozen Academy Awards and won six of them, including Best Picture. Here we look at 10 things you never knew about Forrest Gump.
Tom Hanks wasn't the first choice.
It's hard to imagine anyone but Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest Gump, the lovably simple character who managed to find his way into all sorts of crucial historical moments, an idea realized through revolutionary technology. But producers had some other guys in mind first. The actors said to have passed on Forrest Gump include John Travolta and SNL veterans Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.
Dave Chappelle said no to Bubba.
The role of Forrest's wartime buddy Benjamin Buford Blue, aka Bubba, gave us many of the movie's most memorable lines (not to mention the real life Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant). Dave Chappelle actually passed on the role, just as he later would the Chris Tucker part in Rush Hour and the Marlon Wayans role in Requiem for a Dream. The legendary comic did eventually costar with Hanks, in You've Got Mail.
Ice Cube said no to Bubba, too.
The N.W.A. rapper and arguably most celebrated lyricist made his film debut with Boyz N the Hood, followed by the 1992 crime caper Trespass. Though he didn't take the Forrest Gump part when it was offered to him, he's had no shortage of hits since, including Friday (which he co-wrote), Three Kings, Barbershop, and Ride Along.
Kurt Russell is the voice of Elvis.
At the tender age of 10, Kurt Russell actually acted alongside the late Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World's Fair. As an adult, Russell earned an Emmy nomination for the title role in the 1979 TV movie, Elvis, directed by horror master John Carpenter, who went on to cast him in Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China. 'Though his name doesn't appear in the credits, it's reportedly Russell doing the voice of Elvis when young Forrest shows the King his crucial dance moves.
Forrest Gump almost met MLK.
One scene director Robert Zemeckis decided to skip would have seen Forrest encountering protestors led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Forrest would've distracted a group of attack dogs set upon King and his supporters with a friendly game of fetch.
Tom's little brother is in the movie.
Some of the wide shots of Forrest running are of Tom's younger brother, Jim Hanks. The younger Hanks provided the voice of Woody in several Toy Story video games and television shorts, as well as the Toy Story Midway Mania! theme park attraction.
Look, Forrest, look!
Look closely: every time we see a photo of Forrest in the movie, his eyes are closed.
Speaking of his eyes...
When we see Forrest playing ping-pong, he doesn't blink. We can thank that soldier who told him to keep his eye on the ball. The balls in the matches are all CGI.
There's a script for the Forrest Gump sequel.
Winston Groom, who wrote the 1986 book, released a sequel nearly a decade later called Gump & Co., chronicling Forrest's life in the 1980s. (Forrest references the movie about his life on the very first page.) In an email to Cinema Blend in 2007, Groom revealed that Paramount bought the rights to the sequel before the first movie was even released. Original screenwriter Eric Roth wrote a script based on Gump & Co. in 2001, but all has been quiet on the development front for many years.
Forrest kept making history.
In the sequel, Forrest helps destroy the Berlin Wall, is part of inventing New Coke, crashes the Exxon Valdez, fights in Operation Desert Storm, and meets Tom Hanks.