Director John Madden gave the screenplay to actress Jessica Chastain personally. He had only her in mind for the role after he read the spec script. Madden had previously directed Chastain in the film The Debt (2010).
The script for this film was discovered from a query letter by the writer's manager in Spring 2014, and further developed and exposed to the market in early 2015. The unrepresented screenwriter was living in Asia at the time and was attempting to solicit industry reps over the Internet. In less than one year, the spec script was acquired, attracted an Oscar-nominated director and actress, procured financing and distribution, and was put on a progress-to-production track.
It's reported that Steven Spielberg was a fan of the script and considered directing the project before John Madden was hired. It was ultimately decided that Spielberg's availability was too far out to serve the expectations of the production.
Luke 14:10 reads, But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, "Friend, move up to a better place." Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The male escort is identified in court as "Robert Forde" Robert "Bob" Ford was the notorious assassin of Jesse James., gaining his confidence and then shooting him in the back. Unlike the escort's namesake, Forde chooses not to betray Sloan's confidence. In essence, he doesn't 'shoot her in the back", when he has the chance.