- California Doubling: WMATA, the agency operating the Washington Metro, does not permit filming of movies involving violence in the subway system. The scene involving a firefight in the Metrorail was done in Montreal, but made to look like it was done in the DC system (except for the somewhat obvious, to a metro fan, differences in station architecture and rolling stock — not the least of which is that the Montreal metro, unlike the Washington metro, has tires.)
- Disowned Adaptation: Frederick Forsyth, who wrote the novel The Day of the Jackal, insisted his name be taken off the credits of this film, which is why it is billed as "based on the screenplay".
- Fake Irish: Richard Gere's performance is notorious among Irish viewers for having one of the worst "Irish" accents ever put to film.
- Fake Russian: Diane Venora as Major Koslova.
- Harpo Does Something Funny: Jack Black improvised his lines in the scene where the Jackal kills him. His instruction was to act stupid and annoy Bruce Willis.
- Hostility on the Set: After the filming of this movie, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere reportedly vowed to never work with each other again.
- Life Imitates Art: The real life assassin and terrorist Carlos "The Jackal" got his nickname from the 1974 film on which this is based due to his ability to elude authorities; Bruce Willis' character in turn may be an Expy for the Jackal, but probably not.
- Playing Against Type: Bruce Willis as The Jackal - it's his first role as a main villain character (The Siege has his character gradually evolve into a bad guy but he isn't the main antagonist, and he later played the Big Bad in the 2014 film The Prince).
- Technology Marches On: The guy selling the Jackal a yacht brags that it has a "cellular phone".
- Unintentional Period Piece: The film is the poster child of that time Hollywood struggled to keep the Spy Fiction genre alive after the fall of the USSR. First, unlike the original, which was a deliberate period piece set in early '60s France, the film takes place in modern-day America and Russia. It begins with a montage summing the history of Russia from Nicholas II to the fall of Communism and the rise of the film's villains, The Mafiya, in the 1990s. A joint American-Russian police operation (which itself dates the film to the Clinton-Yeltsin honeymoon when it seemed like the US and Russia would be allies) results in the death of a mobster's brother, who retaliates by hiring an assassin to kill a First Lady of the US that looks just like 1990s Hillary Clinton, during a public act with security so light it can only be before 2001.
- But nothing will stick out more to a modern audience than the use of two ex-IRA and ETAnote members as the film heroes, presented here as romantic badasses that once fought for a just cause. Richard Gere's character, the ex-IRA man, is a sniper who only targets soldiers and doesn't use bombs, and is allowed to walk free in America after saving the day even though he was supposed to be handed back to British authorities to serve the rest of his prison sentence. It's a very ugly reminder that, before the 9/11 attacks, the IRA received a great deal of sympathy and support from certain segments of the American population that Hollywood was more than happy to cater to, a sympathy that evaporated after the attacks showed Americans the true horror of terrorism.
- Wag the Director: Bruce Willis asked for the scene, where the Jackal kills a gay man, to be re-shot, so it was obvious that he was being killed due to the fact that he knew too much (having seen The Jackal on a news report), rather than because he was gay.
- What Could Have Been:
- Richard Dean Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Gary Busey, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Liam Neeson, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, and Patrick Swayze were considered for Declan Mulqueen.
- Edward Fox is rumored to have rejected a cameo role.
Trivia / The Jackal