The most memorable scene from Tom Hanks’ hit 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is, of course, the three-year cross-country running scene.
The 7-minute sequence is up there with the most iconic movie scenes of all time. But it nearly didn’t happen, as Hanks revealed in a recent episode of “In Depth With Graham Bensinger.”
Hanks said Paramount refused to do the scene because it was going to be too expensive, while director Robert Zemeckis believed it was crucial to the plot.
“The studio said, ‘We can’t afford it; you’re not going to do it,'” Hanks told Bensinger. “And Bob said, ‘It’s too important a part of the movie just to cut. We can make this work.’ And they said, ‘No, you can’t.'”
In the end, Zemeckis asked Hanks for help getting the running sequence in the movie.
“‘He said, ‘Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars,’ and it wasn’t cheap,” Hanks revealed. “He said, ‘You and I are going to split that amount.'”
In return, Paramount agreed to share more of the film’s profits with the duo. Zemeckis also let Hanks be a major collaborator on the movie, inviting him to sit in on the editing, which allowed Hanks to be instrumental in developing the character of Gump.
Fortunately, “Forrest Gump” was a huge success. It was the second-highest-grossing movie of 1994, just barely behind “The Lion King,” and won six Oscars, including best picture, best director for Zemeckis and best actor for Hanks.
Last year, on the 25th anniversary of “Forrest Gump,” Hanks looked back at his time on the movie and called it “an absolute crapshoot.”
“It’s a really crazy, unique motion picture without a doubt,” Hanks told USA Today. “And it’s a movie in which the great moments that resonate are going to change depending on when you’re watching it.”
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