When Roger Ebert first viewed the movie in May 2003, he stated that he thought it was the worst movie in the history of the Cannes Film Festival. In August 2004, after watching an edited-down, shorted version of the film, Ebert gave it a thumbs up on his show, stating its editing changed the film.
Roger Ebert called the film "the worst in the history of Cannes," to which Vincent Gallo responded that Ebert was a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader." Ebert paraphrased a remark of Winston Churchill and responded that "Although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of 'The Brown Bunny.'" Gallo then put a hex on Ebert's colon, to which Ebert responded that "even my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film." (It should be noted that the version screened at Cannes was much longer than the final version.)
Both Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst were already on the set, shooting scenes, when director/star Vincent Gallo fired them from the project. Gallo revealed this during a press conference in Cannes 2003.
On 31 July 2004, a billboard of the film was put up on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It depicted the infamous fellatio scene, cut off and blurred. Because of limited (but vocal) community outcry, the billboard was taken down on 5 August.
The region-1 (North America) DVD version of the film contains about 304 shots in just under 92 minutes of action. This equates to an average shot length of approximately 17.9 seconds and a median shot length of approximately 18.6 seconds. This contrasts with most contemporary Hollywood films that usually contain a few thousand shots and average shot lengths of around 2 to 5 seconds.