“It’s another man-child kind of thing”: Back To the Future Star Michael J. Fox Convinced Director To Turn Down Forrest Gump For Quirky Sequel

Back To the Future Star Michael J. Fox Convinced Director To Turn Down Forrest Gump For Quirky Sequel
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Michael J. Fox has made a significant contribution to the film industry. Fox’s advice once helped legendary filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld choose between two major projects. During an interview, the director shared that while filming a movie with Fox, he was offered two major projects to direct. Since both were significant to him, it was hard for him to make a choice. At that time, Fox helped him to decide which project he should helm.

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Fox’s advice indeed worked out, and the project Sonnenfeld opted for went out to become a massive hit.

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox helped Barry Sonnenfeld to choose between two major projects 

Michael J. Fox and Barry Sonnenfeld once teamed up for the 1993 film, For Love or Money. While Sonnenfeld was working with Fox, he had two major projects in his hand to direct, one was the sequel of the Addams Family, and the other was the Tom Hanks-starring film Forrest Gump.

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Sonnenfeld was considered as a director for both films, but since he was interested in both projects, choosing between them was very difficult for him. To make his choice easier, he turned to Fox and asked for his suggestions on the two films. During an interview with Variety, the director recalled,

“I was working on [“For Love or Money”] with Michael J. Fox, and I said, ‘What should I do?’ Michael said, ‘You set the table with ‘Addams Family,’ now you need to go have dinner.’”

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox

Also Read: “It’s a stupid thing to do for a living”: Michael J. Fox Still Remembers Keanu Reeves’ Best Friend River Phoenix for His Ultimate Kindness Amid His Fight With Parkinson’s Disease

As suggested by Fox, he took his advice and decided to direct Addams Family’s sequel, Addams Family Values, turning down the offer to direct Forrest Gump. Eventually, the film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and won six Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Sonnenfeld’s directorial film, Addams Family Values was also a box-office hit. Moreover, Sonnenfeld was also content with his work, as he claimed, 

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“I loved directing Addams Family Values.” 

When asked if he regretted rejecting Forrest Gump, the filmmaker said, 

“It took a long time to make my peace with that.” 

Although Sonnenfeld couldn’t be a part of Forrest Gump, he made a significant contribution to the film’s narrative. 

Also Read: “Just freaking insane”: Back To The Future Star Michael J. Fox Quit Acting After Seeing Leonardo DiCaprio “Screaming at himself in the mirror”

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Barry Sonnenfeld made a significant contribution to the development of Forrest Gump

Barry Sonnenfeld
Barry Sonnenfeld

During the same interview, Barry Sonnenfeld revealed that producer Gary Lucchesi sent him the Forrest Gump novel and asked him if they could make a film adaptation of the novel since he had no other good projects in hand. Sonnenfeld read the novel and suggested making a minor change in the film adaptation. Sonnenfeld recalled,

“I said, ‘Let’s change the main character from a big fat guy that’s a really big running back to a thin guy that runs all the time and I’ll send it to Hanks because I had shot ‘Big’ with him.’ I said, ‘You’ll probably not want to do it because it’s similar to ‘Big’ in that it’s another man-child kind of thing.”

When they approached Tom Hanks with the film’s idea, he liked it and signed the film. Meanwhile, Hanks was cast as the lead actor in the film, and Sonnenfeld was signed on to direct the project. However, later he changed his mind and went on to direct Addams Family’s sequel. 

Also Read: “That’s not a face you’re going to see on a lunchbox”: Michael J. Fox Had Sweet Revenge on NBC President for Trying to Fire Him After Starring in $385M Flawless Time-Travel Movie

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Source: Variety

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Written by Sonali

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Sonali is the sensational entertainment writer who serves up the juiciest celebrity insights and pop culture revelations with a tantalizing spice that keeps readers coming back for more.