When Robert Towne was reworking the script for the Roman Polanksi film Frantic, he had all but finished the script for this film in which Frantic star Harrison Ford
immediately became interested and agreed to star in the film, but he eventually dropped out at the very start of pre-production because of personal conflicts with the role. Robert Towne and Thom Mount then flew to Australia to meet with Mel Gibson to talk about the role and he immediately agreed to star.
When the film went into production, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers at the time, Pat Riley, was offered the role of Nick, it went to Kurt Russell
when he turned it down and Russell's look for the role was influenced by Riley.
The film's budget was originally $33 million, but since it was shot as an independent production after Warner Bros. had pulled out, the budget had gone down $10 million, which was still expensive for an L.A. based film production at that time.
Warner Bros. agreed to finance and produce this film after writer/director Robert Towne agreed to a settlement of 2.5 million dollars after they had pulled out of the post-production of his directorial debut film, Personal Best. The deal was contingent on the studio letting Towne not only write the film, but also direct it, according to producer Thom Mount.
The interior of the Valenari's restaurant was actually a set designed and built by Richard Sylbert on a soundstage.
According to producer Thom Mount, Alec Baldwin
was the original choice to play Nick Frescia and had actually come back twice to audition for the role, but Towne and Mount decided to go in another direction.
When movies are made, scenes are often
left on the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, there will be several versions
of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may
release a special cut of the movie.