British actors were cast as nine out of the twelve slaves portrayed in this movie, because American actors steered away from this movie, because of its content.
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When Co-Producer Vibeke Windeløv went to the U.S. for casting, she got a tip that Danny Glover might be interested. She immediately flew to a hotel in Salt Lake City to meet up with him. After a long talk about the project, Glover asked her for a copy of Dogville (2003). She gave him a portable DVD player with it, and left him for the night. At 6:00 a.m., Glover called her hotel room and said she had to come immediately because the DVD player's battery had run out twenty minutes before the end of the movie. She rushed to his room with a charger, and after he'd watch it through, he said yes on the spot.
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In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, James Caan stated he did not reprise his role as Grace's father from Dogville (2003), because Nicole Kidman dropped out, and because he feels that Writer and Director Lars von Trier "is very anti-American, so screw him. I'm very pro-America. I'm a conservative, basically."
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Nicole Kidman, who played Grace in Dogville (2003), was intended to star in this movie, as well as a third trilogy installment, but pulled out of the project in July 2003, due to conflicting schedules.
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In the international release of this movie, during the closing montage set to David Bowie's "Young Americans", Richard Nixon's image is not shown to coincide with Bowie's lyrics, but George W. Bush's.
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The second film in Lars von Trier's third trilogy titled "USA - Land of Opportunities". The two other parts are Dogville (2003) and Wasington, which (as of April 2019) hasn't been made.
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John C. Reilly was originally signed to play Dr. Hector, but was replaced by Zeljko Ivanek during production. A donkey was put to death while filming, and it was reported in the U.S. magazine Entertainment Weekly that this was what prompted Reilly to walk off the set, though he has never commented publicly on the incident, or his exact reasons for leaving this movie. Executive Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen told Swedish media that "people should not be upset, instead they should think about the situation of the Third World." Since this movie was filmed in Sweden, they followed Swedish law, which says that animals can be put to death in movie productions, if a veterinarian is the one carrying out the killing. Writer and Director Lars von Trier cut the scene from this movie, which was attributed to protests from animal rights groups. von Trier said that he didn't want to draw attention away from the content of this movie.
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Danny Glover, who plays one of the slaves, rejected the role once before accepting it.
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This is the second Lars von Trier movie in which Lauren Bacall appeared. Previously, she played the role of Ma Ginger in Dogville (2003).
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