This is Gene Hackman's and Dustin Hoffman's first film together. At the Pasadena Playhouse, they were classmates, and were both voted "Least Likely to Succeed".
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The much anticipated bathroom scene in this movie, where Rohr (Dustin Hoffman) confronts Fitch (Gene Hackman) is the first dialogue in a movie between Hoffman and Hackman. It was written while the rest of the movie was being filmed, after someone on the crew found out that the two, though they had been friends since 1956, had never starred in a movie together. It was finally shot on a single day at the end, several weeks after Hackman and Hoffman had finished their other work.
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According to Dustin Hoffman when he and Gene Hackman filmed the last of their scenes, Hackman said to Hoffman "Let's get drunk."
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In this movie, the goth alternate juror who replaces the alcoholic juror who was dismissed, was named Lydia Deets (Corri English). This was the name of the goth character, "Lydia Deetz" in Beetlejuice (1988), the teen (Winona Ryder) who communicated with the deceased previous owners of the house.
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In 1997, Edward Norton was originally cast in the role of Nicholas Easter with Joel Schumacher directing. Sir Sean Connery and Gwyneth Paltrow were cast in the roles of Fitch and Marlee, respectively. But when Schumacher dropped out of the project, and it was delayed, the actors moved on to other projects. The project was revived in 2001 when Will Smith was in talks to play Nicholas Easter, with Jennifer Connelly as Marlee, and Mike Newell directing. But Smith dropped out and the project was again stalled.
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In the novel, the lawsuit is filed against a tobacco company. This screenplay was in development for several years and, after the release of The Insider (1999), all subsequent scripts involved a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer. Although, the movie contains various references to tobacco, for example, Nick Easter's advice to the maintenance man at the beginning.
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Joel Schumacher was originally attached to direct, largely at the insistence of John Grisham. The author had been pleased with the way Schumacher had handled two of his properties, A Time to Kill (1996) and The Client (1994).
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Naomi Watts was offered the role of Marlee, but turned it due to scheduling conflicts.
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Other notable actresses auditioning for the role of Marlee included Bridget Moynahan and Amanda Peet.
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While the notion of infiltrating a jury in the manner of Nicholas Easter is obviously intriguing, various systems exist to prevent it. For example, in most jurisdictions (including New Orelans), prospective jurors are required to have permanently resided within that jurisdiction for at least one year prior to selection.
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The Game Trader was an actual store in the Espalanade Mall right outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. It has since closed.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman; and one Oscar nominee: Bruce Davison.
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After being in development for several years, director Alfonso Cuarón became attached to direct and co-write the film. He ended up leaving the project a few months after that.
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Representative Steve Scalise from Louisiana is thanked in the credits. The movie has many references to mass shootings, and Representative Scalise survived a mass shooting in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14, 2017.
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Gene Hackman's line, "and this man doesn't give a single, solitary droplet of shit about truth, justice, or your American way." "Truth, justice, and the American way" is a line from Superman (1978). Gene Hackman starred in Superman (1978).
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During the jury selection for the trial involving the manufacturer of a gun used in a mass shooting by an active shooter, potential juror Nick Easter (John Cusack) states his desire to avoid being impanelled so he could compete in a John Madden Football video game competition. In August 2018, a losing competitor at the EA's Madden NFL tournament, killed two people, shot eleven others, and then committed suicide.
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The voice on the radio at the beginning is morning show host Rod Ryan. He was at one time based in New Orleans on his own show on The End. At the time the film was released on DVD, he had moved to Houston, were he still broadcasts in the morning.
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This is the third John Grisham film in which Gene Hackman appeared. The others being The Firm (1993) and The Chamber (1996).
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Jeremy Piven and Leland Orser previously costarred in the 1998 film Very Bad Things. They had no scenes together in this film.
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In the novel, Fitch is attracted to Marlee. This background story can be slightly noticed in the movie.
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Jeremy Piven and Nora Dunn appeared on Entourage (2004).
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