During filming in Vancouver, Kurt Russell (Michael Zane) visited the nearby set of Stargate SG-1 (1997) and met the cast. Russell starred as Colonel Jack O'Neil in the original Stargate (1994). His role was adopted by Richard Dean Anderson in the spin-off series and the character's name was changed slightly (to Colonel Jack O'Neill).
When the film finished shooting, Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell disagreed about the way the film should feel. The studio let both stars edit their own versions which were then shown to test audiences. Russell's cut was more comedy oriented and focused on his character's relationship with Cybil (Courteney Cox) while Costner's was more action oriented.
Kurt Russell received top billing over Kevin Costner. This matches their portrayals of Wyatt Earp as well, due to the fact that Russell starred as the famous lawman in Tombstone (1993) and Costner starred as the famous lawman in Wyatt Earp (1994).
Throughout the movie, Kurt Russell's character is seen wearing a necklace. The necklace is "TCB" with a lightning bolt. "TCB" stands for "taking care of business" which was Elvis Presleys' slogan along with the lightning bolt. He had similar necklaces made, and gave them to his inner crowd.
The gas station that explodes, is at Eldorado Canyon, approximately 55 miles from Las Vegas, and the site of a (now unused) gold mine. The plane used as a canopy over the pumps, is an original 60's vintage Grumman OV-1 Mohawk attack aircraft and is still there at the side of the road as of August 2013. The gold mine is a tourist attraction.
The head of the studio behind the picture, Elie Samaha, was successfully sued by his German finance partner, Barry Baeres, in 2004 for fraudulently "padding" the budgets of the films he was producing. Baeres company, Intertainment, was paying a percentage for the films, based on the budgets. It is believed, due to Samaha's deception, that Baeres may have paid one hundred million dollars more than he had to. The lawsuit ended up causing the closure of Franchise Pictures.
As a child actor, Kurt Russell had a role in It Happened at the World's Fair (1963). 45 minutes into that movie, Elvis' character pays him a quarter to kick him in the shin. This makes Russell the only Elvis Presley impersonator in this movie to have shared the screen with the real King.
Long before Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner starred in this film together, Ron Shelton had written the role of Crash Davis in Bull Durham (1988) for Russell, but Orion preferred Costner, who they felt was a more bankable star and one who had good standing with the studio, for the role. Russell later replaced Costner for the role of Ace Woody in Django Unchained (2012), but Quentin Tarantino excised the part when Russell left the production.
Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner have been in films with Madeleine Stowe. These were Unlawful Entry (1992) and Revenge (1990) respectively. Incidentally, Ray Liotta was also in Unlawful Entry with Russell and Stowe, plus Liotta was in Field of Dreams (1989) with Costner.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
During the casino heist near the beginning of the movie, Kurt Russell is wearing a white Elvis Presley suit, while Kevin Costner is wearing a black Elvis suit. This foreshadows the good vs. evil relationship that Michael Zane (Russell) and Murphy (Costner) will have later in the movie.
Many scenes were edited due to extreme violence. - 1) The scene in which a Security Guard is killed by way of a shotgun, was originally bloodier. The scene featured a closer shot of the guard being shot and the blood spraying from his back. - 2) The scene where Hanson (Christian Slater) is shot in the leg was originally bloodier. Instead of quick shot of the leg being shot, there is a shot of blood spraying from his wound quickly and violently. 3) The scene where the State Trooper is shot by Murphy (Kevin Costner) is also extended. The additional shot featured the bullet actually hitting the trooper and his back exploding in blood.
Kevin Costner and Christian Slater co-starred in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). They didn't get along in that film, just like in this film. Costner shot an arrow through Slater's hand in that film, in this film he killed him by shooting a gun underneath the table, hitting his legs and then shooting him dead. Slater had been arguing with Costner over money from the heist, and then provoked him, leading to his demise.
Prior to the film's opening, Warner Brothers released a series of animated prequels voiced by the Elvis impersonators from the movie. "The Road to Graceland" prequels marked the first time a major film's cast members contributed their talents to the creation of original Internet content for a film website. The animated shorts also revealed that Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) was in fact the other man who's DNA test as Elvis Presley's son proved inconclusive.