Steven Soderbergh is quoted saying that if the audience does not enjoy the first 10 minutes of the film then they might as well leave.
George Clooney said that Steven Soderbergh was originally considering another actor for the lead so Clooney wrote him a letter asking to be considered as he thought a letter would be "less personal" if Soderbergh wanted to turn him down. Clooney said, "thank God the other actor turned it down." The other actor was Daniel Day-Lewis.
Was originally given an R rating by the MPAA primarily due to a pair of shots of George Clooney's nude rear end. Steven Soderbergh appealed the decision, citing that similar content (and worse) had appeared on network television. Soderbergh won the appeal and the movie was granted a PG-13 rating.
Soderbergh cast Jeremy Davies in the film after seeing a tape Davies made of himself playing Charles Manson. Davies was preparing to play Manson in an independent film. The tape was passed around within the film industry and became a popular bootleg. Davies eventually played Manson in Helter Skelter (2004).
Ulrich Tukur's audition tape showed his dog listening intently to him speak his lines.
Nietzsche believed "we are predetermined to repeat the past", calling the idea "Eternal Return".
Gibarian's line "There are no answers, only choices" echoes Nietzsche's quote "There are no facts, only interpretations".
Gordon uses a device that emits Higgs bosons. This is an elementary subatomic particle whose existence was predicted in 1964 by Peter Higgs and five other physicists. The particle wasn't actually observed until 2012, and in 2013 Mr. Higgs and one of his colleagues were awarded the Nobel prize for their theoretical work.
One of the proposed taglines for this film was "Love never dies". However, this same tagline had already been used for Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).
The verse of poetry spoken by Chris Kelvin (George Clooney) is a poem by Dylan Thomas called "And Death Shall Have no Dominion".
This is over an hour shorter than the original version, Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972).
James Cameron considered directing but opted to produce instead. Daniel Day-Lewis was considered to star.
Rhea is also the name of Saturn's ninth moon. (From Greek mythology; she's the daughter of Gaia and Uranus, the wife of Cronos and the mother of Zeus)
According to Insane Clown Posse, they never received any royalties from the makers of this film for the use of their song "Riddle Box".
This is a remake of the soviet movie of 1972 inspired by the same novel by Stanislaw Lem.
One of the three films that received an "F" CinemaScore from audiences upon their release in 2002, along with Feardotcom (2002) and Darkness (2002).
The DVD special features include a draft of the screenplay in which Rheya reveals to Kelvin that she doesn't feel she can be a mother early on in their relationship, the Solaris crew give Rheya's Phi-Creature a brain-scan showing that she has been reproduced down to the details that cause her medical condition, and in which Kelvin asks Snow if Solaris is God and Snow answers that Rheya would have been more likely to know. It also has one scene in which Kelvin is talking to the station's AI computer about Solaris, and the computer mentions that Solaris was discovered in the year 2015.
Two character's names vary a great deal in the different versions of this story. The female character is known as "Rhea" in the English translation of the novel, "Rheya" in the film, and "Harey" in the original Polish. In the 1972 version, she is known as "Hari/Khari" in the subtitles and Russian dialogue, and "Carrie" in the English dubbing. The Doctor is known as "Snow" in the English translation of the novel, and the 2002 film, but in the Tarkovsky version, he is known "Snaut" in the subtitles and Russian dialogue, and "Stroud/Strowd" in the English dub.
Kelvin shares his name with William Thompson, First Baron Kelvin, the legendary physicist who first determined an accurate value for absolute zero temperature. The corresponding temperature scale is named in his honor.
In Lem's novel, character Rheya is named Harey, an anagram of Rheya. This is probably a reference to the titan "Rhea", who was mother of the Gods in Greek mythology, and which is also the name of a moon of Saturn. Rhea was the wife of Cronus/Saturn (the ruler of time), and the sister of Oceanus (Solaris is an ocean planet) and Tethys, a sea goddess, as well as the mother of Poseidon/Neptune; her parents were Uranus (the sky god) and Gaia (the earth goddess).
There is a sign on Athena's engines stating "Dals Ed Mitt i naturen" Dals Ed is a small town in western Sweden close to the Norwegian border. The artist put it there because "Athena must have passed Dalsland sometime".
In the final train scene, a Chicago L platform sign (Merchandise Mart) is clearly visible, though out of focus. Footage of the sign must have been looped to make the station seem much longer than it actually is: on the side of the station that's open to backlight, there are only two such signs mounted on metal balustrades, about 25 feet apart, but in the movie the train appears to pass more than a dozen.