- Actor-Shared Background:
- Val Kilmer plays a character who is 1/4th Sioux. In real life, he is 1/4th Cherokee.
- John Trudell (Jimmy Looks Twice) really did serve in Vietnam and was acting chairman of A.I.M. From 1973 to 1979.
- Cast the Expert:
- Ted Thin Elk, who played an honoured Lakota medicine man, is a Lakota elder himself.
- Two hundred and fifty Native Americans worked as extras on the movie.
- What Could Have Been:
- Richard Gere was offered the role of Ray Levoi, but he was busy with Final Analysis. Other candidates included Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze and Bruce Willis.
- Marlon Brando was offered the role of Frank "Cooch" Coutelle. Other candidates included Brian Cox, Robert De Niro, Scott Glenn, Dennis Hopper, Tommy Lee Jones, Harvey Keitel, Stephen Lang, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Ron Perlman.
Trivia / Thunderheart