Ashley Judd took kick-boxing lessons from stuntman David Lea before filming. She insisted on doing many of her own stunts, but the studio finally put their foot down, when she wanted to leap off a 150 foot waterfall. A stuntman, wearing a wig, made the jump instead, narrowly missing the rocks as he plummeted through the falls to the water below.
It was during the making of this film that Ashley Judd was subjected to sexual harassment by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. She would finally open up about the ordeal in 2017.
At one point, Denzel Washington was to star, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and Morgan Freeman was brought into the project.
Gillian Anderson was initially going to play Dr. Kate McTiernan during her hiatus from The X-Files (1993).
A split diopter lens is used in the final kitchen scene. The two-shots show both characters in sharp focus, even though one is much farther from the camera. Normally, one or the other would be out of focus. But a half-width lens placed in front of the camera's main lens adjusts the focal plane of one side of the scene, allowing close and distant subjects to appear sharp. Brian De Palma often uses this filming technique.
Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman also co-starred in High Crimes (2002), Dolphin Tale (2011), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). They reportedly enjoy co-starring together, especially after Freeman gave her high praise after her powerful performance in this movie.
Denied a cinema release in Virginia, due to the unsolved murders of three girls in the area. It was deemed to be insensitive to the families involved to release the film in the affected communities.
When Cross first enters the Durham police station command center, he walks along a bulletin board showing photo of missing girls. As the camera tracks along the board, one eight by ten photo portrait shows Hilary Swank as one of the victims, an actress whom Morgan Freeman would go on to train in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Campus officials at the University of North Carolina refused to agree to allow filming on campus in Chapel Hill, because of the subject matter of the film. Hence the only UNC-Chapel Hill campus scenes are the flyover shots. There is one other scene shot on UNC's campus. After the flyover shot of Duke Chapel, the next scene is the detectives car turning onto Medical Drive in Chapel Hill.This can be seen by the sign behind the tree which is the old School of nursing sign on Columbia street.
James Patterson liked the film enough to ask Gary Fleder to direct the Alex Cross (2012) reboot. Fleder turned down the opportunity as he felt that he had already covered that ground.
Cross is seen training boxers at the start of the movie. Morgan Freeman would train boxers on films again in Million Dollar Baby (2004) , the role that netted him an Oscar. Also The Power of One (1992).
Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Jay O. Sanders were in Glory (1989). They all played Union soldiers.
The overhead shot of a football stadium that many may think of as Durham, North Carolina, is actually Chapel Hill, NC. The football stadium you see is Kenan Stadium, home of The University of North Carolina Tar Heels. What makes this even more recognizable, is just North of the stadium is the famed Bell Tower and Wilson Library dome. The next shot you see is the Duke Chapel Tower on the campus of Duke University in Durham.