- Ability over Appearance: Both Sacha Baron Cohen and Frank Langella are very tall, in contrast to the real life men they play. Their performances were highly praised however, so few actually cared about this.
- All-Star Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Frank Langella, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and John Carroll Lynch.
- Dawson Casting:
- Abbie Hoffman was 31 and 32 during the trial; Sacha Baron Cohen was 48 during filming.
- Mark Rylance was 59 playing the 49-year-old William Kunstler.
- Michael Keaton, at 68, is roughly 27 years older than the real Ramsay Clark was at the time.
- Leonard Weinglass was 35 when the trial began; Ben Shenkman was 51 during filming.
- Jeremy Strong was 40 during filming, playing the 30-year-old Jerry Rubin.
- John N. Mitchell was 55 when the trial began; John Doman was 74 during filming.
- Dueling Works: Trial was released less than five months before Judas and the Black Messiah, another film featuring leftist protests in late 1960s Chicago that features Fred Hampton as a prominent supporting character and features his murder by police as a plot point. (Seale and the trial are briefly mentioned in Judas.) Both films were nominated for Best Picture.
- Fake American: Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance and Alex Sharp (all British) play Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, William Kunstler, and Rennie Davis respectively.
- Playing with Character Type: Once again Sacha Baron Cohen plays a loudmouthed, comical trickster, but unlike his other performances, here he’s placed in an incredibly serious situation. And while most of his other characters are straightforward jerkasses, Abbie Hoffman is ultimately shown to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Production Posse:
- Caitlin Fitzgerald and Jeremy Strong are also in Succession together.
- Composer Daniel Pemberton and cinematographer Phedon Papamichael had previously worked on Sorkin's directorial debut, Molly's Game (which co-starred Strong).
- Saved from Development Hell: The film was originally meant to be made in 2007, but was shelved due to the Writer's Strike.
- What Could Have Been:
- When the script was first written in 2007, Steven Spielberg was going to direct.
- After Spielberg dropped out, Paul Greengrass and Ben Stiller were among the directors approached to take over before Aaron Sorkin decided to direct the movie himself.
- When Spielberg was developing the film, he wanted Will Smith to play Bobby Seale, Heath Ledger to play Tom Hayden and Philip Seymour Hoffman to play William Kunstler. The cast would have also consisted of Adam Arkin, Taye Diggs and Kevin Spacey.
- Seth Rogen was set to play Jerry Rubin until Jeremy Strong replaced Rogen. Jonathan Majors was set to play Bobby Seale until Yahya Abdul-Mateen II replaced Majors. William Hurt was announced to play John Mitchell before John Doman replaced him.
Trivia / The Trial of the Chicago 7