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17 Things Forrest Gump Producers Hid From Fans

Forrest Gump is a comedy-drama that was released in 1994. It is based on a novel called Forrest Gump that was written by Winston Groom. It was rated very highly by critics and viewers, and it became a top film that has since been an American classic. The film has been able to bring audiences to tears, make them hysterically laugh, and feel appreciation for the people in their lives. The way Tom Hanks was able to depict such a quirky character as he navigated through life with an intellectual disability was both charming and incredibly heartbreaking.

The movie was a hit with moviegoers, who loved listening to Forrest tell his life story from a park bench over and over again.  It’s hard to believe there was a chance that the film came close to not being made. The film went through multiple re-writes, and it was incredibly difficult to cast, many also felt that it came too close to the 1988 film Rain Man. Luckily, Paramount Pictures decided to buy the rights to the project, and it seems the rest is history. If you’re one of the people who has seen the film countless times, here are some things you missed or didn’t know about the Oscar-winning film.

The movie earned over $677 million. However, Tom Hanks did not get paid for acting. He only accepted percentage points which in the end, earned him $40 million. During an interview with Yahoo Movies, Hanks explained how close the film came to being shut down due to financial issues.  The Ranker reports that, “The studio was one day away from pulling the plug on this one movie I was going to make, and the director came to my house and said, ‘Look, this is going to fall apart because they won’t give us the budget for shooting this one sequence, and we’ve got to have this sequence.” Director Robert Zemeckis proposed that he and Hanks split the cost of shooting that sequence so that the studio would allow them to make the film they envisioned. “I said, ‘All right.’ And the sequence was Forrest running across the country,” Hanks revealed. “And we were 48 hours away from it being shut down. So I’m glad that worked out.” Luckily, Hanks believed enough in the project and it paid off. He made at least $31 million on the movie. The film ended up making over $677 million, internationally.

There was an incredible amount of CGI used in the film, this is obvious. What’s probably not obvious is where they used CGI. In the scenes when Forrest is playing ping pong, there are no actual ping pong balls in the scene. In fact, the actors are just swinging at the air, and they are timing their paddle movement to the sound of clicks. The ball was added in later on.

Can you imagine the film without Tom Hanks? Well, there was a time when John Travolta was actually the first choice to play Forrest Gump. He decided to turn it down. Afterward, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase passed on the role as well. Of course, Travolta would go on to say that turning it down was a major mistake, but he went on to accept the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction which was the same year the film was released.

You may know Tupac Shakur as one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time, but there was a time when he wanted to make the transition from a performer to an actor and actually read for the part of Bubba. Before Forrest Gump, Tupac appeared in Juice, Poetic Justice, and Above the Rim. It was the rapper’s wife, Keisha Morris who said that on their first date they went to the Chelsea Movie Theater to see Forrest Gump, and then ate dinner around the corner in an Italian restaurant. He wanted to see Forrest Gump because he read for the part of Bubba.

In the Film, Sally Field’s character appears to be very old compared to Tom Hanks. But in reality, she’s only ten years older than him. They used detailed makeup and detailed costumes to make her appear older than she actually was. 

In every transitioning stage, Forrest was wearing a blue checked shirt. Is this a coincidence or was it planned? We never got a straight answer from the producers. 

It is almost unbelievable that Forrest had his eyes closed in all the photos found in the movie. This is fascinating because it’s not expected of such lead actors, and it has never been explained by Tom Hanks or the producers of the film. 

Unless you never picked up on what Jenny died from, we can say that she didn’t die from Hepatitis C. In the film, she tells Forrest, “I have some virus, and the doctors, they don’t know what it is, and there isn’t anything they can do about it.” Although it’s never specified or announced what “virus” she had, we do know that she was a drug addict during the 1970s, and Hepatitis C wasn’t a known virus until the late 1980s.

In many of Tom Hanks’ running sequences, his younger brother Jim Hanks is said to have doubled for him. This is surprising because they don’t necessarily look alike, but it wouldn’t matter in the running sequence because Forrest Gump’s face was covered with a large amount of facial hair. 

During the scene where Forrest is asked to share his experience in Vietnam in front of all the people at Washington D.C, his mic in inaudible, but Hanks continues on with his line. So what exactly did he say that brought the man next to him to tears? Hanks has explained that he says, “Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Tom Hanks ad-libbed the line “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump,” and it turned out to be one of the most memorable lines used in the film. It stayed in the final cut of the film because the film’s director, Robert Zemeckis, loved it so much that he pushed for it to be in the final product.

Haley Joel Osment, who famously acted in The Sixth Sense, acted as Forrest and Jenny’s son. He acted amazingly and most people who watched the movie liked his performance. The most amazing and surprising thing is that this was his first film performance, yet he aced it.

When Tom Hanks visited Washington DC after his visit from Vietnam, there was a scene that had a reporter. The reporter was not an actor. He was a tourist who was visiting DC together with his wife. He was just given the script and asked to read, which he did perfectly.

In the scene where Gary Sinise had no legs, a distinctive blue fabric had been covered on his legs, which made it easy to digitally remove them.

The actual footage of Sammy L. Davis being awarded a Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson was used for Forrest’s medal ceremony. Forrest’s head was digitally superimposed on Davis’ body, which made the scene appear more realistic.

Mykelti Williamson acted as Bubba who was Forrest’s friend, whom he met after joining the army. This role had been offered to Ice Cube, who turned it down. He, later on, acknowledged that they thought the film was a joke and it was bound to fail, but when it succeeded, he regretted not accepting the role.

Recall the scene where Forrest is remembering all the people who lived at his mama’s boarding house? Do you remember he brings up the young man with the guitar who we assume is Elvis Presley? The man who played him is Kurt Russell, but he was never credited with providing the voice. However, the actor played Presley in the 1970 movie, Elvis, so many people recognize his portrayal.

The line used by Forrest Gump during the famed run on the silver screen was inspired by a 16-year-old boy who ran from New Jersey to San Francisco as a way of supporting the American Cancer Society. The inspired line was: “I just put one foot in front of the other,” it goes. “When I get tired I sleep. When I get hungry I eat. When I have to go to the bathroom, I go.”

Robin Wright was having a very bad cold when she was performing a scene in a nightclub. Despite this, she was able to sing her own song during a shoot that took 24 hours nonstop. Additionally, she was holding a guitar and nearly naked.

Tom Hanks was suffering from influenza when he shot the football running scene. But despite having the flu, Hanks knew how important the scene was, so he put on a memorable performance that is one of the most popular in the film.  

Norman Rockwell was a famous painter known for being able to capture the essence of American culture. Forrest Gump takes place in Alabama, in a fictional town called Greenbow. In the book, Forrest grows up in Mobile, Alabama, since the movie and book are very different, the filmmakers wanted to create a town that was more spirited. Zemeckis revealed he used Rockwell’s art as a guide in creating Greenbow, and the scene where Forrest is sitting outside the principal’s office was inspired by Rockwell’s The Young Lady with the Shiner. 

There are many different benches that were used for the famous scenes in which Forrest tells his story while waiting for a bus, five to be exact. One of them is in Savannah, GA, where you are able to view it on display at the Savannah Museum. Another bench is in the Smithsonian. Two of them are on the Paramount lot in sunny Los Angeles, and the final was given to a security guard who was on patrol during the filming of the movie. Apparently, many people have offered to buy it from him, but he has refused bids apparently for a half a million dollars.

The film differs extensively from the original version of the novel. This is in terms of both character and turn of events. For example, Gump is naive and reflexive, unlike in the novel. This can be clearly seen in the chocolate scene.

The Doors played some of their music in the film. Unlike other bands, it had more than six songs which were loved by most viewers because their music was fitting for the time in which the film takes place. 

Among the kids who greeted Gump with ridicule on the school bus were Tom Hanks’ daughter Elizabeth and Zemeckis’ son Alexander. The kids were happy to be a part of the film, but were not credited with their parts in the film. 

After the success story of the Forrest Gump movie, the author of the novel “Forrest Gump”, Winston Groom, decided to write another novel that focuses on the result of the movie. The novel was called Gump & Co. Although it wasn’t nearly as successful as his original novel, Gump & Co. received plenty of positive reviews. One of those reviews came from Larry King who said it was “the funniest novel I ever read”.

Tom Hanks’ accent was inspired by Michael Conner Humphrey’s, who played young Forrest Gump. When Hanks was given the role of Forrest, he was reluctant to use the accent. However, contrary to what was expected, he did a great job using that accent.

With the excellent acting that Tom Hanks portrays, one would think he took several hours or even days reading the script. However, it took him only one and a half hours after reading the script to sign into the movie.

And although Tom Hanks loved the script almost instantly, he only agreed to participate in the film on a condition that the movie was historically precise. The director agreed, and the film maintained its historical precision throughout the duration of the film. 

According to some sources, Tom Hanks confessed that there are times that he got really emotional when playing the role of Forrest Gump. In certain scenes in the film, Hanks actually cried, which made for an authentic performance. 

Due to the positive reception of Tom Hank’s performance as Forrest Gump and the film as a whole, Hanks won an Oscar award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the year 1994, which was his first Academy Award.

Many scenes of the movie were filmed in Savannah, Georgia. However, some of the scenes were filmed in South Carolina, Fripp Island, and also the hunting island were some of the other filming locations. This enabled the movie to look historical and also easily relatable.

A-list actresses like Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, and Demi Moore tried out for the iconic role of Jenny Curran. It seems as though these actresses are probably kicking themselves for not getting the part. Ultimately, the part went to Robin Wright who went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Jenny. 

Mykelti Williamson claims that he had trouble getting roles after the film was made. After the success of the film, he was offered roles as comedic black characters, or in other words, racist stereotypes due to his apparent features. In fact, that wasn’t his real lip–he wore a prosthetic. When he would show up to casting calls, he was turned down. He feels as though he will never be able to truly separate himself from the character.

Some sources say that Dave Chappelle had auditioned for the role of Bubba. However, this is not known by facts. Dave Chappelle once attended the Daily Show in the year 1999 where he said that he was not a fan of the movie because, according to him, he couldn’t understand how Forrest Gump could outdo him in acting.

Michael Conner Humphrey acted as Forrest Gump at his young age. He aced the performance and it would be expected that he would continue with his acting career. However, he joined the army and decided to give up acting. In fact, Humphrey’s accent was real seeing as he was from Mississippi, so Hanks just decided to mimic it.

According to the Film’s director, all the songs that were played in the movie were from American bands. He said that Gump would not have accepted anything that was non-American because the film was supposed to have a mid-20th-century quintessential American theme. 

When Forrest met JFK in the film, he says he was so thirsty rather than hungry. He said he drank 15 Dr. Peppers.

Warner Bros. is said to have bought the rights to cast the movie “Forrest Gump” when the original book Forrest Gump was still a script.

L.T Dan is seen wearing a necklace in many parts of the movie. The necklace is said to have been worn in Vietnam by the brother in law of Gary Sinese. It was, therefore, one with value and not just from a prop shop.

The house which was acted in as Forrest Gump’s home is no longer in existence. It was demolished after filming the movie. Therefore, no one can find where the movie depicts it to be.

The scene that shows the bus stop was shot in Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia.

The movie depicts traffic around the square. In order for the bus door to open, traffic flow had to be reversed.

Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant was never in existence before 1996. It was opened after the release of the film. It has since developed into a chain restaurant found throughout the United States.

Initially, Groom was the one writing the script for the movie. However, his scripts were never used because other writers such as Eric Roth were asked to write the full script.

The famous Port Royal S.C Ports Authority was used for the boat hurricane scene.

The original book was written by Winston Groom in 1986. When the book hit the market, only 30,000 copies of the book managed to sell. However, after the release of the movie Forrest Gump, 1.6 million books were sold. This is surprising but it clearly shows that the movie got a lot of viewers who enjoyed it and, in return, bought the book. The writer gained 3% of the net profits from the film adaptation. However, he didn’t receive any royalty money.

According to statistics completed after the release of the film, there were as many negative critics as there were positive critics. Some people thought it was a great movie and thus gave positive critiques, while others thought it was an outdated movie meant for the aging generation.

In the movie, Dan is seen investing Gump’s money into a company, which is apparently Apple. The movie does not tell exactly how much money was invested. However, if Forrest Gump would have left his investments in Apple Company, the stock would have earned him million of dollars.

According to Director Robert Zemeckis, the movie was to be released with sounds of clinking coins. However, the movie was released to the theaters without the sounds. This was without Robert’s approval. But, a new version of the movie was edited such that what the director wished for the movie would come to be. However, after more than 20 years since it’s appearance, Paramount Pictures decided to release the original director’s cut of the movie, which apparently has the sound of loose change jangling in Forrest Gump’s pockets while he runs.

Basing on some reviews done on the movie, there is a rumor that the movie was initially done as an advertisement for Trump. However, when he did not run for the post, the movie was reviewed and edited to look like a movie narrating a story.

The feather seen floating from the beginning of the movie has many different meanings. It was white to show the innocence that Forrest Gump had and his enthusiasm to do anything or achieve anything he wants no matter the difficulties. It also symbolized the quote on chocolate that was mentioned by his mom.

Some sources say that the feather falling next to Gump’s foot was a sign of all the hardships he had gone through. In the beginning of the movie, he is seen to have a problem with the foot and thus he thought he couldn’t run. However, he is seen running as the movie continues. The feather was therefore used to show that he had managed to overcome all his difficulties.

Forrest was at risk of contracting AIDS from Jenny. But that is not what actually happened. Jenny was a party girl her entire life. She cleaned up her act for a few months and then relapsed and partied again. Jenny didn’t get AIDS/HIV until after she gave birth to Forrest Jr. She had a relapse and had a moment of weakness and hit the needle again after Forrest Jr. was born. And that is why Forrest and Forrest Jr. are HIV free.


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