Ben Affleck delayed his own directorial production of this project to take the lead role in David Fincher's adaption of Gone Girl (2014). According to Affleck, he always wanted to get a chance to work with David Fincher on a film.
Cinematographer Robert Richardson wanted to shoot the film with the Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses he had recently used on The Hateful Eight (2015), but Panavision had already rented them for use on Rogue One (2016).
Lehane was initially fearful of Ben Affleck's ability to play the lead role of Joe Coughlin, considering an actor of Affleck's presence would struggle to access the underlying perfidy and pudency that both plagued and spurned Coughlin. To his credit, Affleck was humble enough to screen test, and (apparently) more than allayed any fears.
This movie marks the third time Ben Affleck has worked with an actor who either was or is in a Marvel film series. He first worked with Jeremy Renner who is Hawkeye in the Marvel Universe in The Town (2010). The second collaboration is in The Accountant (2016) with J.K. Simmons who was J. Jonah Jameson and in this movie he works with Zoe Saldana who is Gamora in the Guardians of the Galaxy series.