The diner scene on the morning after Bloom and Stemmons arrive in Texas was originally shot at a different diner. During the original shooting, they were hit by a tornado and the cast and crew had to huddle together in the kitchen until the tornado passed overhead.
Kevin Spacey was the third choice to play David Gale. George Clooney and Nicolas Cage both rejected the part. Nicolas Cage had the script and gave it to Parker, but was already busy with other projects.
The scene where Gale is drunk in downtown Austin (6th street) was somewhat improvised and shot with two lights and a camera. "Most of those people aren't extras," Alan Parker said to an audience at the University of Washington.