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 make back 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 is given more weight while he's around. In spite of whatever argument you might make, Brad Pitt's star power, combined with Jesse James', ensure that James is always considered the lead role.
    • Although Mary-Louise Parker and Zooey Deschanel are billed near the top, neither one has more than a brief cameo.
  • 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.
  • The Cast Showoff: She may have had most of her role cut but Zooey Deschanel gets a song to compensate.
  • 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 action-packed movie. Eventually Brad Pitt, producer Ridley Scott and editors Dylan Tichenor, Curtis Clayton and Michael Kahn made and tested various recuts. It's currently unknown who's cut was picked for general release.
  • What Could Have Been: The role of Robert Ford was down to a choice between Casey Affleck and Shia Lebouf. The executives chose Casey because they thought Shia was too young.