When meeting with James Coburn to discuss the film, director Paul Schrader encouraged Coburn to make heavy preparations for his role. Coburn responded "Oh, you mean you want me to really act? I can do that. I haven't often been asked to, but I can."
During their praise of the film, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel noted that James Coburn was the perfect kind of person that seems like he could intimidate a man like Nick Nolte, who is famous for playing domineering and blustery men.
'James Coburn''s part was first turned down by Paul Newman and then James Garner, both turned it down because they felt that it would be very tiring to play such a dark, awful character. Both actors were friends of Coburn, and Garner suggested him for the part.
When on the deer hunt, in a shot from above Jack is shown putting the index finger of his left hand to his mouth to signal his wealthy customer to be silent, but in the next shot it's his right index finger.