It was on the set of this movie that star Jodie Foster met her longtime romantic partner Cydney Bernard, who was working as a production coordinator. They had two children together and remained a couple until their 2008 break-up.
This movie is one of several fictional adaptations of a true, famous legal case of imposture from sixteenth century France. The case involved a man named Martin Guerre who, having disappeared from his Basque village in 1548, suddenly reappeared eight years later. Despite his slightly changed appearance, he convinced his family, wife, and fellow villagers that he was indeed Martin Guerre; he and his wife had two more children and he sued a paternal uncle for the claim to his father's estate. That uncle became suspicious that this returned Martin Guerre was actually an impostor named Arnaud du Tilh, and he contrived a way to have him tried for imposture. This suspicion was ultimately confirmed when the actual Martin Guerre arrived in court during du Tilh's trial. Arnaud du Tilh was convicted and hanged in September 1560.
Original writer Nicholas Meyer walked off the production when Warner Brothers wouldn't let him direct his screenplay. Sarah Kernochan was drafted in to rewrite the script and was somewhat bemused to see that it was an Americanized version of The Return of Martin Guerre (1982). Warners denied this in a rather obvious attempt not to have to buy the remake rights, but Kernochan insisted that they do before continuing as they weren't fooling anyone. Warners eventually relented, and also gave Meyer story credit.