When Orson Welles first set up his production deal with RKO in 1940, this was to be their first movie. Excessive costs made it too prohibitive and so they proceeded with Citizen Kane (1941) instead.

In 1968, WB announced a version with Andrzej Wajda and Andrzej Zulawski scripting.

Ian McDiarmid is best known for playing Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films. Fellow Star Wars cast member Harrison Ford appeared in Apocalypse Now (1979), which was based on the same novel. Star Wars creator George Lucas was originally to direct the film, and is credited with the story idea of retelling the story in Vietnam. The climax of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) is also based on Lucas's original concept for the end of Apocalypse Now (1979).

Andrew Sinclair and Jeffrey Selenium, son of David, announced this in 1970 along with an adaptation of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood (1971). Sinclair then made Under Milk Wood (1971), but its failure at the box office meant that this Joseph Conrad story never got off the ground.