After Angelina Jolie was cast as Mariane Pearl, she and the filmmakers came in for a great deal of criticism, since Pearl's and Jolie's racial backgrounds are not similar, and Jolie played the role wearing makeup that somewhat darkened her own skin tone. The casting reminded many critics of the time in Hollywood when it was customary to cast "ethnic" roles with white actors in makeup rather than using black, Asian, or Native American actors. During a promotional press event for the movie, Jolie responded to the criticisms by saying, "the idea is, if you ask Marianne, because she did address that... if you did actually want to find somebody that was her exact makeup, she's actually majority Dutch, and she's as black as she is Chinese, and she's Cuban, and she's French. So, it could have gone to many different racial backgrounds, probably, if you went technical on it." Pearl herself approved of casting Jolie; in Time Magazine, Pearl said, "I have heard some criticism about her casting, but it is not about the color of your skin. It is about who you are. I asked her to play the role - even though she is way more beautiful than I am - because I felt a real kinship to her."
On March 19, 2013, eleven years after Daniel Pearl's murder, Pakistani officials announced they had arrested a senior militant accused of involvement in his videotaped beheading. The militant, Qari Abdul Hayee, a leader of the Islamist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, was arrested by Pakistan Rangers after an operation on March 17 in Karachi.