Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood both received Best Director Oscars in the years shortly preceding this film. Both of their respective films ( Dances with Wolves (1990) and Unforgiven (1992) ) were westerns. Consequently, this marks perhaps the only time in film history when two such Oscar-winning directors co-starred as actors in the same film. (Also: see Chinatown (1974) Trivia.)
Early in the movie, references are made to President John F. Kennedy visiting Texas and the governor running for re-election. Unless the events in the movie take place in an alternate universe, this was not JFK's final, fateful trip to Texas. From 1876 to 1972 Texas governors served two year terms, which means this movie took place prior to the November 1962 election. JFK was assassinated in Dallas a year later in November 1963.
It wasn't until Frances Fisher visited the set in Texas that Clint Eastwood started to acknowledge her pregnancy to anyone. People on the set recall what a glowering mood he was in that day, when Buddy Van Horn commented to him that Fisher was 'showing'. It's probably relevant that her visit also interrupted his flirtations with a young assistant, according to people behind the scenes.
By co-starring in this film with Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner has co-starred with three of the main stars of Unforgiven (1992), also directed by Eastwood. The other two stars are Gene Hackman: No Way Out (1987) and Wyatt Earp (1994) and Morgan Freeman: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).
Critic Mitch Lovell of Legends of the Silver Screen Reviews, wrote rather humourously of A Perfect World (1993), the following extract: "A Perfect World is also one of those Heat type deals where they put two dynamic actors in the same movie and then only give them the briefest amount of screen time possible. And I don't know about you, but that kind of shit always pisses me off".
Is one of two films released in 1993, in which Laura Dern co-starred with a veteran actor/director. Clint Eastwood in this film. The other film was Jurassic Park (1993), in which Dern co-starred with Richard Attenborough. In 2017, she and Eastwood's daughter, Francesca Eastwood appeared on Twin Peaks (2017), in which she acts opposite David Lynch, who also directed.
At one point Robert 'Butch' Haynes (Kevin Costner) says to Philip Perry (T. J. Lowther), "Well one thing's for sure. I definitely believe in ghosts now". Costner starred in Field of Dreams (1989), which featured ghosts of deceased baseball players.
T. J. Lowther wears a stolen Casper The Friendly Ghost costume later in the movie. Director/co-star Clint Eastwood went on to appear as himself in Casper (1995). It probably brought back memories of A Perfect World (1993) for Eastwood.
Kevin Costner's and Bradley Whitford's characters Robert 'Butch' Haynes and Bobby Lee, both smoke heavily throughout the movie. Incidentally the name Bobby is a derivative of Robert, Butch's real name, he prefers to be called Butch.
Kevin Costner was considered for Harrison Ford's role of Dr. Richard Kimble in the fugitive which was made the same year as this film and also released by warner bros. If he appeared, he would have been chased in the film by Sam Gerard who would have been played by Gene Hackman or already played by Tommy Lee Jones. Costner and Eastwood have worked with Hackman and Jones before.
The film echoes a similar parallel between Butch and Philip. As told by the psychological expert, Butch accidentally shot a dangerous man when he was 8 years-old. Philip does the exact same thing and with the same age as Butch.