Franchise Pictures was reluctant to cast Mickey Rourke in light of his troubled past as a Hollywood bad boy. Friend Sylvester Stallone, who put Rourke up for the role, guaranteed a portion of his salary so if Rourke did cause any delays or problems, the production would be covered. Rourke turned up every day on time and was a complete professional. His work impressed Franchise enough that they hired him shortly after for their next film The Pledge.
When Doreen asks Carter why he went away for so long, Carter responds, "That's a long story." Doreen replies, "It's a long ride back." These lines were also spoken in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) when John Rambo is speaking with his Vietnamese insider.
For the flashback scenes that show Richie's murder, Stephen Kay wanted the film to look grainy and damaged, so he asked Deluxe, the film processor, to think outside the box. Happy to oblige, the techs at Deluxe tied the film to the back of a car and drove it around their parking lot - creating the scratched look. The experiment was short-lived when a Deluxe executive saw it, and ordered them to stop - fearing it would give the company a bad name.
Director Stephen Kay clashed with Franchise Pictures, the financier, over the tone of the film. Kay wanted the film to be more of an "anti-revenge" film, while Franchise wanted a more traditional Stallone action picture.
Unlike the original 1971 version of Get Carter which has received a cult following particularly in the UK and was considered to be a financial success, the 2000 remake of Get Carter was not well received by critics and did not receive a theatrical release in the UK. It also did poorly at the box-office.