After the first attempt by King John's army to take the castle, King John (Paul Giamatti) can be seen eating a peach in his tent. When the real King John died in October 1216, his death was attributed to poisoned ale, poisoned plums, or a "surfeit of peaches".
Loosely based on the life of William d'Aubigny, who commanded the Rochester garrison. Historians do not agree on the exact number of forces defending the Rochester Castle, with estimates ranging between 95-140 knights supported by crossbowmen, sergeants and auxiliaries. When King John took the castle, most nobles were imprisoned or banished. The French forces did not arrive in England until six months after the end of the siege.
Richard Attenborough, originally cast as Archbishop Langton, convinced the film's creative team to utilize Wales' Dragon Studios as the primary shooting location. However, he was forced to cancel his involvement with production after suffering a debilitating fall down the stairs of his home, complications of which led to his death.
The closing narration claims this battle was one of the first French victories that ultimately led to total victory. Nevertheless, after King John's death in 1216, many English rebels preferred the weak English King Henry III rather than a strong and experienced French monarch. This meant many English rebels defected to the Royalist camp and the rebellion was defeated by Royalist forces by 1217.
Marshal owns and uses two types of swords. This was true of at least some Templars. One was the "arming sword", the classic knightly single-handed sword worn (as shown) slung from the belt. The other was the much larger "great sword of war" wielded two-handed, and usually carried strapped to the saddle. Modern tests on pig carcasses (which are similar to human bodies in make-up) have shown that a great sword could indeed--as depicted in the film--cut a person almost in half with a single blow.