Book Forrest Gump Smokes A Lot Of Weed (And Looks Like John Goodman)
Forrest Gump is the story of a mild-mannered intellectually challenged man who stumbles his way through American historical events like he's a time traveler with severe jet lag. In fact, his fictional life is so ridiculously full of ridiculous adventures that when Robert Zemeckis decided to make a movie out of Winston Groom's novel, he could cherry pick which tales would get told and which didn't. The result changed the character so much that Book Gump wouldn't even recognize Movie Gump if they sat next to each other on a bus bench.
Paramount PicturesCould be. You wouldn't know.
The sentimentality-drenched Oscar shoo-in we all know and love may be well-known and well-loved, but in the 1986 novel, Forrest Gump was both more amazing and less wholesome. Yes, Forrest becomes a ping-pong champion, fights in Nam, and founds a successful shrimp company, but he also tries his hand at professional wrestling, travels to space, narrowly avoids being eaten by cannibals, and stars in a movie with a nude Raquel Welch. Zemeckis cheated us all out of an R-rated Forrest Gump. Never forget.
But aside from his antics, Book Gump himself bears little resemblance to his movie version, both mentally and physically. At 6'6 and 240 lbs., the novel's author envisioned John Goodman in the role, not Tom Hanks. His personality is a little different from what we see onscreen, too. In the book, Gump is a short-sighted, angry dullard who never gains any wisdom or maturity, with a fondness for cursing, gambling, and smoking weed. He's a bit of a jerk, really. Can you imagine Tom Hanks doing any of that? Of course not. You can't even imagine Tom Hanks not saying "Bless you" after somebody sneezed.
Paramount PicturesIn the original draft, he eats all the chocolates while saying, "Oh man, these are soooo good," without offering any.
Sadly, the filmmakers were looking for awards and not the soft-earned dollars of the American stoner population, so they chose to focus on the love story at the expense of some of Gump's more fantastic adventures. They had to tweak that a bit too, because instead of dying, Jenny originally ran off with another man. Gump's mother is still alive in the novel, too, and she also never sleeps with anyone in exchange for favors. As usual, on the road to the Oscars, the people who get screwed the most are the women.