I really want to talk to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenwriter Eric Roth about my many metaphysical questions about his film*, but Peter at Slashfilm opted to ask him about Forrest Gump II instead (okay, I’m probably being a little catty, since Peter hasn’t run his whole interview, just this little ‘newsy’ item). The question was about why we had never seen the rumored Gump & Co after the original made a lot of money.
Turns out you can thank Osama bin Laden for that one.
Roth wrote a script. :I turned in the script the night before 9/11. And we sat down, Tom [Hanks] and Bob [Zemeckis] and I, looked at each other and said, we don’t think this is relevant anymore. The world had changed. Now time has obviously passed, but maybe some things should just be one thing and left as they are.”
Thank God. I actually like Roth, and I think he’s written a number of films I truly dig, but Forrest Gump is basically a crime. It’s a terrible, maudlin, stupid movie that appeals to the lowest common denominator in society and – this is what really pisses me off – it shits on the legacy of the social movements of the 60s and it has a deep, prudish, hateful view of women and sexuality. I forgive Roth for Forrest Gump, but I don’t know that I could forgive him for Gump & Co. as well.
This article probably means I’ll never get a chance to ask Roth those metaphysical questions (or about a sequel to The Good Shepherd - it’ll never happen, but I would love to do a Movies That Never Were about it!). But I just hate Forrest Gump that much.
* for those not afraid of spoilers: does Button ever give thought about the fact that he was born at age 90 indicates that he’s destined to live 90 years? How does knowing the number of years allotted you affect the decisions you make?