- Ability over Appearance: James McAvoy was cast in Trance (and Filth) despite the directors initially believing he looked wrong for the role."What's strange is that both those movies, the director thought I wasn't right for it, thought I was too young to do it, didn't have enough darkness," the actor reflected on the two roles. "And yet, for some reason, when I went in and auditioned for Danny [Boyle] and then had a conversation with [Filth director] Jon S. Baird, they seemed to change their mind."
- Actor Allusion:
- At one point, Simon gets the drop on Franck by walloping him in the head with a nearby fire extinguisher. Vincent Cassel, who played Franck, had previously beaten a man's head to a pulp with a fire extinguisher in Irreversible.
- James McAvoy's character in Penelope had a gambling addiction as well. The climatic scene where Simon murders Franck's lackeys is also very reminiscent of Wanted.
- Fan Nickname: "Simon the Evil Bunny" because the character fits the Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon trope to a tee.
- Playing Against Type: James McAvoy is almost always associated with sympathetic characters, but as Simon Newton, he portrays a homicidal Domestic Abuser.
- What Could Have Been:
- Michael Fassbender was initially cast as Franck before he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Considering the magnificent chemistry Fassbender and James McAvoy had in X-Men: First Class, it makes you wonder if Fassbender's participation would have affected the dynamic between Franck and Simon. Colin Firth was briefly considered.
- Danny Boyle had revealed in his commentary for Steve Jobs that before Michael Fassbender had left Trance, the actor was pushing for the character of Elizabeth to be gender-flipped so that he could play the role instead. James McAvoy was already cast as Simon, and Elizabeth and Simon had previously been involved in a therapist/patient affair, so that means Fassbender wanted one of the central relationships to be a homosexual one, and he was willing to film sex scenes with McAvoy.
- Scarlett Johansson, Mélanie Thierry, Eva Green and Zoe Saldana were considered for Elizabeth.
- Danny Boyle originally wanted to set the film in New York City, but his commitment to the Olympic Ceremony meant he had to stay in the UK.
Trivia / Trance