The 1969 film The Arrangement was directed by Elia Kazan and was based off his own 1967 novel of the same title (to which he also adapted the book himself). As such, Kazan had a very personal stake in making the film and wanted it to succeed. It was for this reason he originally wanted the lead role of Eddie to be portrayed by Marlon Brando. Kazan felt Brando could bring a greater depth to the role and bring it close to the character portrayed in the novel and who had experienced great success with Kazan previously in the films A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, and On the Waterfront. However, Brando refused to take the role, stating that he had no interest in making a film so soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. though Kazan felt this to be a dodge on Brando's part and wondered if the real reasons had more to do with Brando's increasing weight or receding hairline.
Even following the casting of Kirk Douglas, production was not easy. Production was shut down twice, with Douglas catching Hong Kong Flu three times. Stay tuned!