Around the time of the film's release, Universal Studios donated $5,000 to Strack Middle School in Klein, Texas, as part of their unique promotional strategy (the school shares the name with Darkman's main villain).
Bill Paxton was almost cast as Peyton Westlake. According to Paxton, he told his friend Liam Neeson about the audition. When Neeson got the the role, Paxton was so angry that he did not speak to Neeson for months.
The production suffered from behind-the-scenes troubles. The screenwriting process was grueling, and there were lengthy post-production battles with the studio. Also, Sam Raimi and Frances McDormand clashed because of creative differences. She was allegedly very difficult to direct.
For the role of Darkman, Sam Raimi wanted someone who could play a monster with the soul of a man. An actor who could do all that beneath a lot of makeup. He also liked Liam Neeson's Gary Cooper charisma. Neeson was drawn to the operatic nature of the story and the inner turmoil of the character. To research the role, Neeson contacted the Phoenix Society, an organization that helps accident victims with severe disfigurements adjust to re-entering society.
Larry Drake was cast because of the way he underplayed Durant. Quiet, careful, but intense. Sam Raimi had never watched a single episode of L.A. Law (1986), where Drake played the retarded Benny. But Drake's face reminded him of a modern day Edward G. Robinson. He looked so mean and domineering, yet he had an urban wit about him. Raimi believed these qualities made him the perfect adversary for Darkman.
The script went through 12 drafts overall. The reason is because Sam Raimi wanted to explore Peyton/Darkman's arc over the course of the film. He said: "I decided to explore a man's soul. In the beginning, a sympathetic, sincere man. In the middle, a vengeful man committing heinous acts against his enemies. And in the end, a man full of self-hatred for what he's become, who must drift off into the night, into a world apart from everyone he knows and all the things he loves."
Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand worked closely in rehearsals. They even rewrote the three love scenes they had together after he becomes Darkman. They got through the scenes, according to McDormand, by depending on each other's knowledge of theatre, and each other.
Durant's finger fetish derived from Sam Raimi wanting the character to have a specific trademark - one that hinted at a military background. Which would explain why Durant is proficient with a grenade launcher when he's firing it from a helicopter.
Liam Neeson worked 18 hour days in ten-piece makeup, but he liked the challenge, and the idea of working behind a mask on camera, as well as exploring the possibilities this entailed. Neeson also had input on the costume he wore as Darkman, especially the cloak. The hardest part was speaking with false teeth, because he didn't want them to move at all.
The editing process was extremely difficult, and the editor allegedly had a nervous breakdown and left production. The Universal executives were also rather nervous with some of the wild things in the film and insisted they be taken out. Sam Raimi confessed that studio movie-making, as opposed to independent filmmaking, didn't fulfill him in the same way. Raimi attributed Universal's marketing campaign to Darkman's success at the box-office.
Danny Elfman thoroughly enjoyed working with Sam Raimi on this movie. He commented "Sam has a wonderful visual style that lends itself easily to music. There was no reason to hold back on this one." The two would collaborate on future projects, but they're partnership ended with Spider-Man 2 (2004), due to creative differences. They would reunite however, for _Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)_
The beige 70s-vintage Oldsmobile seen in so many of Sam Raimi's films appears when Darkman is flying over the bridge dodging oncoming traffic. During a close-up shot of the oncoming Olds, you can see Sam Raimi's friends (and fellow filmmakers) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen driving the car.