‘Forrest Gump’ Left Out a Fascinating Scene Involving Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘We Went a Bridge Too Far’

With its memorable quotes, snippets of history, and the perfect mixture of drama and comedy moments, Forrest Gump was a major hit movie in 1994 and continues to be a well-loved movie decades later. Tom Hanks‘s portrayal of Forrest is one of the successful actor’s most memorable roles and led to his second Oscar.

Tom Hanks sitting on a bench in a scene from 'Forrest Gump'
Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump | Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

While viewers go on an emotional roller coaster following Forrest Gump’s life in the movie, sharing his joy and shedding bittersweet tears, that audience connection could’ve been lost if it wasn’t for Director Robert Zemeckis’s commitment to the production process.

Zemeckis’s deep connection to ensuring the movie brought Forrest and his story to life even resulted in his depression after the movie was released. His behind-the-scenes work resulted in amazing visual effects and a compelling movie, even after cutting some fascinating scenes from the Tom Hanks classic. 

Forrest Gump met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in this deleted scene

Although Tom Hanks improvised some classic scenes and quotes from Forrest Gump, certain scenes didn’t even make the final cut of the award-winning 1994 movie. In the 25th anniversary DVD set, fans found deleted scenes from the beloved classic. One fascinating scene left out of Forrest Gump involved Forrest running into Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters.

The scene showcased the Selma march, and in the deleted scene Forrest distracts several dogs trying to attack Dr. King and fellow protestors by playing fetch with the dogs. In a Yahoo! article, screenwriter Eric Roth said that the unused scene was filmed on the first day of shooting and was ultimately cut from the movie’s final version.

He explained the reason behind the cut by saying:

“I think we felt we went a bridge too far. We wanted to honor Martin Luther King and the march and the importance of that, obviously. So I’m glad we didn’t use it.”

Other deleted scenes from the iconic film 

The MLK scene is the most noted deleted scene of Forrest Gump. However, the 25th anniversary DVD set includes other deleted scenes from the movie. One involves Forrest Gump’s success as a ping-pong player. When recovering from a gunshot wound from Vietnam, Forrest Gump learns to play ping-pong and quickly becomes a master.

While he is sent to China to play on the All-American Ping-Pong Team in the movie, the scene of him playing the table game with the China Ambassador did not make the final cut. The ambassador was George Bush Sr., and during their ping-pong game, Forrest hits Bush Sr. in the crotch with a ping-pong ball.

Deleted scenes are part of creating a movie, and so are altered versions. IMDb highlighted the alternate versions that ran on varying television networks. 

The location for many ‘Forrest Gump’ boat scenes

With the few deleted scenes from Forrest Gump, many memorable moments remain, bringing the movie well-deserved critical acclaim. From partnering with Bubba in his shrimping business to Forrest buying his own shrimping boat to fulfill his promise to Bubba when his friend is killed in action in Vietnam, boat scenes were a highlight of the movie.

The boat scenes are portrayed in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. However, they were actually shot in the waters off the coast of South Carolina. The hurricane scene was even filmed on the Atlantic Ocean instead of the Gulf of Mexico.

IMDb revealed that a jet engine was used to create the hurricane winds seen on film and the still shots and newsreel shots from the onshore aftermath were real news shots from the destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina in 1989. 

RELATED: Tom Hanks and a ‘Forrest Gump’ Co-Star Once Played Competing Stand-Up Comedians