Trivia / The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

  • Acclaimed Flop: The film earned positive reviews and made quite a few top ten lists for the year (topping several), but it flopped at the box office and made back only half of its thirty million budget.
  • All-Star Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Paul Schneider, Garret Dillahunt, Sam Shepard, Mary Louise Parker, and Zooey Deschanel
  • Billing Displacement:
    • Whether Jesse James or Robert Ford is the "main character" of the film is debatable, considering the amount of screen time and thematic weight each character receives. Though Ford's life extends through the entire film, James' presence gets more weight.
    • Although Mary-Louise Parker and Zooey Deschanel are billed near the top, neither one has more than a brief cameo.
  • California Doubling: Filmed in Winnipeg's Exchange district (which looks sufficiently old, for that matter). Many scenes were also filmed in Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • The Cast Showoff: She may have had most of her role cut but Zooey Deschanel gets a song to compensate.
  • Creator Killer: The film's financial failure led to director/writer Andrew Dominik not doing another film for 5 years.
  • Dawson Casting: A strange case. Frank James, Jesse's older brother, is 38. It's implied that his life as a bandit has been hard on his looks, so maybe he's supposed to look about 50. He was played by Sam Shepard, aged 64 at the time. The 32-year-old Casey Affleck also plays Bob from the age of 20, though the film follows him through the rest of his life. Brad Pitt is also nine years older than Jesse was at the time of his death. Ted Levine was also 50 playing a man who was in his thirties and died at 44, and James Carville was about ten years older than the man he was playing.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: The movie was shot in 2005, but wasn't released until 2007 because of squabbles between Director Andrew Dominik, who wanted an impressionistic, Terrence Malick-esque approach, and executives at Warner Bros. who wanted a more conventional, action-packed movie. Eventually, Brad Pitt, producer Ridley Scott, and editors Dylan Tichenor, Curtiss Clayton, and Michael Kahn made and tested various recuts. It was only after Pitt's support of Dominik that the version we know now was released, albeit Screwed by the Network.
  • Throw It In: Hugh Ross, who has no other narration credits to his name, was the assistant editor who's narration was initially a temp track, before Dominik liked it so much that he stuck with it.
  • What Could Have Been: The role of Robert Ford was down to a choice between Casey Affleck and Shia Labeouf. The executives chose Casey because they thought Shia was too young.
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