In the DVD extras, Hugh Grant says that because he and James Wilby already knew each other from appearing in Privileged (1982) together, they were able to practice their scenes together at Grant's house the night before Wilby's audition. Grant says that he remembers it "being a surprise to my banker brother when he came home and found me kissing James Wilby in the front room."
King's College, Cambridge, permitted the production to film there after much consideration. The delay was not over the film's subject matter, but due to the fact that many scholars consider Forster's novel an inferior work.
Julian Sands was chosen for the title role but was delayed on another movie, Siesta. Wilby had previously been passed over for a smaller role because it was felt his height and blond hair were too close to Sands's appearance.
John Malkovich was meant to take the role of Lasker-Jones, the doctor ultimately played by Ben Kingsley. Malkovich had become a friend of Julian Sands after making The Killing Fields (1984). However, when Sands left the project, Malkovich lost interest in the role.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the DVD extras, James Wilby remembers that the film's final scene, a love scene between his character (Maurice) and Rupert Graves' character (Scudder) was shot on the fourth day of filming, and because of the complete lack of rehearsal time, he and Graves had barely even met beforehand.