Jack Nicholson was very keen on playing the role of 'the boy'. He even discussed it with Robert Altman in his office. But Altman turned him down: "Jack, I think you're just too old."
The film met with scathing reviews. Indeed one of the film executives who hired Robert Altman told him that if he had seen the kind of film the director would ultimately deliver, he never would have hired him in the first place.