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.