Crew members experienced a tragic event on the last day of filming. On September 11, 2015, stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin and his Venezuelan co-pilot, Carlos Berl, were killed when their small, twin-engine Aerostar plane crashed during foggy conditions in the Andes, near Medellin, Colombia. The pilots had just finished their work on the film prior to the crash, which left a sole survivor, Jimmy Lee Garland, who suffered serious injury. Ten minutes before the fatal crash, Tom Cruise had been aboard a helicopter taking the same route in similar weather conditions as the ill-fated flight.
The small town of Ball Ground, Georgia, was transformed into the real town of Mena, Arkansas for this movie. This is the largest event of a public nature and this type of grand exposure to occur in Ball Ground's history.
Since August 24th, Tom Cruise has been seen filming on location in Medellín, Colombia, and also on other Colombian towns that were real places where Barry Seal had to move when he was a pilot for the Medellin Cartel.
Mauricio Mejía who plays Pablo Escóbar appears in two seasons of the television series Narcos, also about the Colombian cocaine cartels and set in the same time period as American Made, as a Colombian soldier, Castaño.
The airplane that Barry Seal was flying all the time (officially registered as N164HH, also seen in the movie on the tail of the airplane) crashed in real life (11 Sept. 2015) on the last day of the movie shoots causing 2 fatalities.
Tom Cruise has previously co-starred with Brendan Gleeson in Far and Away (1992), Mission: Impossible II (2000), and Edge of Tomorrow (2014). Gleeson's son, Domhnall, co-stars with Tom Cruise in American Made (2017).
At the time of writing, the families of pilots Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl are suing the producers for the deaths of the two pilots on the last day of filming, alleging negligence on the part of the filmmakers. Both families are also suing each other and the surviving pilot Jimmy Lee Garland.
Mauricio Mejía the Colombian actor who portrays 'Pablo Escobar' in this film, also played the same role of Escobar in his beginnings; on the first episode of the Mega-Production of Caracol Televisión and Telemundo "Escobar, El Patrón del Mal" (Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord / 2012).
Domhnall Gleeson stars in this film with Tom Cruise and which is directed by Doug Liman. His father, Brendan Gleeson, was in Doug Liman's last film Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) which also starred Tom Cruise.