- Creator Backlash: Donald Sutherland was so horrified by his performance as Attila after seeing early rushes that he refused to watch the finished film for decades.
- Executive Meddling: Bernardo Bertolucci was contractually obliged by Paramount to deliver a 195 minute cut, but refused to edit the film when he completed the movie. Nor was Paramount keen on Bertolucci's initial idea of releasing the film in two separate parts. Producer Alberto Grimaldi went behind Bertolucci's back and edited a 190 minute version, which so disgusted Bertolucci that agreed to supervise a 245 minute compromise edit. This version played overseas, while the longer 317 minute version was released in Europe.
- Fake Nationality: The film's setting and characters are Italian, but it's (very large) cast includes various Americans (Robert De Niro, Sterling Hayden, Burt Lancaster), Frenchmen (Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda), Germans (Werner Bruhns, Anna Henkel-Grönemeyer, Ellen Schwiers), and a lone Canadian (Donald Sutherland).
- Playing Against Type: Robert De Niro who in American movies usually played Italian-American Working-Class Hero or intense anti-heroes from lower-classes plays a naive, romantic and self-deluding rich kid.
- What Could Have Been:
- Bertolucci's initial casting choices included Jack Nicholson as Alfredo, Peter Boyle as Attila and Maria Schneider as Neve the prostitute. Nicholson and Boyle weren't able to commit to the project, while Schneider refused to work with Bertolucci again after her experiences making Last Tango in Paris.
- Oliver Reed was considered for Attila Mellanchini.
Trivia / Novecento