The film was originally supposed to be released in September 2012, but the opening date was immediately moved up to July 2012 following the first screening for the studio.
In preparation for his role as Chon, Taylor Kitsch received training from actual Navy SEALs.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Garrett Hedlund and James Franco were all considered for the role of Ben before Aaron Johnson was cast.
Jennifer Lawrence was originally cast as Ophelia, Ben and Chon's shared girlfriend, but she dropped out to make "The Hunger Games" instead. Olivia Wilde, Amber Heard, Abbie Cornish, Lindsay Lohan and Teresa Palmer were considered to replace her before Blake Lively was cast.
According to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, before agreeing to cast Taylor Kitsch in the lead role Oliver Stone requested Peter Berg show him thirty minutes from BATTLESHIP so he could judge in Kitsch had what it took to lead a movie. Berg agreed and after viewing the clip Stone decided Kitsch did.