These Are the Nicest Guys Around
Winkler was set to direct the movie Turner & Hooch, which Hanks starred in. But then Winkler was fired from the project, which was a story about a drooley dog and his faithful companion and cop, Tom Hanks.
Winkler has apparently dropped hints that the reason he left the movie was because there was tension between them, and it may have stemmed from Turner & Hooch.
That Hooch Was a Tough Cookie
Winkler alluded to it in October on an episode of "Watch What Happens Live," when someone called in to the show to ask him about that, even asking whether he's ever seen the movie. All Winkler said was "What did you say?" as if he didn't hear the woman. But he heard alright.
Then Winkler explained that when he was on the set of Turner and Hooch (for a whole 13 days), he was called into Jeff Katzenberg's office, who said to him, "Do you have everything with you? Go home."
"I got along great -- great -- with that dog. Love that dog," Winkler said.
'I Don't Have a Feud'
TMZ spoke with Winkler about the subject while the actor was in Los Angeles.
“I don’t have a feud with Tom Hanks," he has said. “What everybody says and what is true are two different things.”
Winkler also added that he "saw" Hanks over the weekend.
“I just saw him at our SAG Awards, it was beautiful,” Winkler said.
But Winkler didn't elaborate as to whether they shook hands, or hugged, or even made eye contact. He just saw him.
But it sounds like something was going on.
They Really Were Happy Days
Winkler and Hanks actually go back a ways -- as far back as "Happy Days," when they both appeared in a lengthy scene together in Season 10, episode 5, called "A Little Case of Revenge."
In the scene, it looks like the Fonz is on a date, when Tom Hanks' character walks in wearing a karate uniform.
Hanks' character calls the Fonz "geek face." That's not much of a strong word, but the Fonz didn't like it.
Hanks is being his funny self until he rips off the Fonz' sleeves. That's asking for a fight.
"You might wanna keep this in case you want to wipe your nose on your sleeve," Hanks said, draping the now-detached sleeve over Fonz' shoulder.
The two eventually fight in an unorthodox way, then shake hands.
Hanks (not the actual Hanks, but his character) was basically scum, and it's good to know that he usually doesn't play bad-guy roles. He's just not cut out for it, much like Winkler.
We still need to know exactly what went down on the set of Turner & Hooch.