Trivia / The Hitcher

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Jennifer Jason Leigh agreed to do the film because she wanted to work with Rutger Hauer again (they co-starred in Flesh+Blood) and loved the character of Nash because "there was a real person there".
  • Disowned Adaptation: Eric Red both requested a writing credit on the remake (because it was so similar to his original), and disavowed it (because he thought it was much worse).
    "Give the credit where it's due. But I disown the picture."
  • Enforced Method Acting: C. Thomas Howell admitted that he was actually afraid of Rutger Hauer on and off the set because of the actor's general intensity.
  • Executive Meddling: Executives tried to have the death of Nash softened and toned down. One executive even tried getting the scene excised and another suggested softening it by following it with a funeral scene. The director and producer stood their ground and the scene was kept in but not shot graphically.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original script ran the film equivalent of three hours, had more of a Film Noir vibe and was filled with Gorn. Moments that ended up not being filmed include: Ryder slaughtering an entire family, an eyeball appearing in a hamburger (this was replaced in a finger in a plate of French fries), a graphic sex scene between 'Gal' Galveston (the girl before Nash) and Jim, and a character being decapitated. The film underwent several rewrites which removed the gorier moments.
    • Fox was to have distributed the film before TriStar Pictures took over.
    • Ryder was written with Keith Richards in mind. The director's personal choice for Ryder was Terence Stamp while Sam Elliott had the best audition and almost got the part (a salary dispute led him not to be cast). David Bowie, Sting and Sam Shepard were also considered.
    • For the role of Jim Halsey, the producers mentioned Matthew Modine, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.
    • At one point, Eric Red wanted John Ryder to have an electronic voicebox.