The film's failure was largely attributed to Gary Cooper, who at 47 was much older than his twenty-something character and was considered by many critics to be unconvincing playing a man with high ideals.
Warner Bros. approached Frank Lloyd Wright (who had been the inspiration for Ayn Rand's character, Howard Roark), and asked him to submit some architectural designs to be used in the film. However, the studio balked when Wright requested his usual fee of $250,000, and decided instead to leave the designs to the film's art director, Edward Carrere.
Ayn Rand was furious when she heard that Howard Roark's speech at the trial was being trimmed, chiefly because it was considered long, rambling and confusing, especially to Gary Cooper who didn't understand it. She got the studio to make sure that the speech was untouched and in its entirety in the finished product.
The view from Gail Wynand's office appears to be the view from the dome of the former New York World Building on Park Row, which contained the office of publisher Joseph Pulitzer Jr., the World's publisher. Despite this, the character of Gail Wynand is believed to be based on Pulitzer's arch-rival William Randolph Hearst.
Michael Cimino planned to do a remake with United Artists, but the colossal failure of " Heavens Gate" meant that it was almost 5 years before he stood behind a camera again, and UA had since gone into bankruptcy.