The credited writer Martin Hardy is actually a pseudonym for the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, who had his name taken off the film after a falling-out with longtime collaborator Michael Winterbottom.
The film features several pieces of music by Nino Rota from the Federico Fellini film 8½ (1963), which is also about frustrated efforts to make a movie.
The film also features several pieces of music used by Stanley Kubrick in similar situations in Barry Lyndon (namely the Sarabande by Georg Fridrich Händel and traditional British Grenadiers), a film set in about the same location and period.
All of the armed soldiers (those with working guns) in the battle scenes, plus some other extras were members of the Sealed Knot Society, which tours the UK, performing historical re-enactments of the English Civil War.
Tony Wilson: The real Tony Wilson (who Steve Coogan played in 24 Hour Party People (2002), another Michael Winterbottom film) plays himself, interviewing Steve Coogan on the film set. The somewhat spiky relationship between the two (who also worked together on local TV in the early 1990s) is subtly referenced in Coogan's lukewarm "let's catch up in Manchester".