The onions that Stanley and Zero eat towards the end of the movie are actually apples wrapped in an edible cover.
Sigourney Weaver wanted to be in this film because "Holes" is her daughter's favorite book.
A screenplay was initially written by Richard Kelly, who greatly departed from the source material by writing a dark, violent adaptation of the story set in a post-apocalyptic world. The studio reportedly found the script far too disturbing for a children's movie, rejecting it in favor of the final script written by the novel's author, Louis Sachar.
Dulé Hill played Sam. He later appeared as Shawn's (James Roday's) co-star, Gus, on the television show Psych (2006). In the episode "65 Million Years Off" when seeing all the holes that the paleontologist dug on the land, Shawn mentions "that this is like that movie with Sigourney Weaver". He also mentions Shia LaBeouf and Jon Voight. Gus keeps guessing movies, but never correctly guesses the movie that he appeared in, Holes (2003).
Before shooting the film, Patricia Arquette did not know how to ride a horse. She had to learn for her role as "Kissing Kate" Barlow.
This movie is dedicated in loving memory of Scott Plank. Scott Plank played Trout Walker.
Caveman (Shia LeBeouf) finds a scorpion crawling on his bed. A trainer set the scorpion on the bed and stood just off camera. The trainer touched the scorpion lightly with the end of a straw and it lifted its tail up. Then the trainer blew some air through the straw and the scorpion began to crawl.
Nathan Davis, the actor who played Stanley Yelnats II (Stanley's grandfather), was Director Andrew Davis' father.
Nine "Bearded Dragon" lizards were on call for the parts of the lizards in the film. A non-toxic children's finger paint was used on the lizards to make them appear bright in color. Computers helped create some of the lizard action and production created fake life-like lizards for some of the other scenes.
In the beginning of the film, there is a rattlesnake near the holes the boys are digging. One of the young men walks up to the snake, puts out his bare foot, and the snake bites him. A trainer put a bull snake, which is a non-venomous snake, down on the ground and put a box over it to contain it before filming began. The trainer removed the box and the actor walked over near the snake and put his foot out. The director yelled, "cut" and a trainer replaced the Bull snake with a real rattlesnake and doubled as the actor, putting his bare foot near the snake. Several trainers stood just off camera holding nets and snake hooks just in case the snake decided to wander. The snake was immediately retrieved by a trainer and removed from the set.
In the Warden's house, there is a framed newspaper cutting, with the words, "Kate Barlow Robs Chicago Pacific". Chicago Pacific is the name of Director Andrew Davis' company.
The "yellow spotted lizards" mentioned in the movie do not exist. There are only two venomous lizards in North America: the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard, which live in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
In 2006, three years after this film was released, author Louis Sachar published a sequel to Holes called Small Steps which focuses on (mainly) Armpit and (partially) X-Ray moving on with their lives about two or three years after leaving Camp Green Lake. The story involves a ticket scalping scheme, a disabled ten-year-old girl named Ginny, a chance encounter with a famous pop star named Kaira DeLeon, and a murder plot. There are currently no plans to adapt the sequel to the screen.
Frankie Muniz was originally cast as Stanley. Alex D. Linz was also offered the same role.
The poem that Miss Katherine reads to the young Linda and Sam finished is "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe.
It is rather coincidental that Shia LaBeouf's character is accused of stealing shoes in this movie considering he was first arrested for stealing Nike Cortez sneakers from a store in Pacoima, California in real-life.
The car the warden drives is a 1958 Chrysler Saratoga. This car did not have a gear shift to change gears. Instead, it had push buttons to change from drive, reverse, park, etc.
The song that plays the first time the boys go to dig is "Down to the Valley". A different rendition of this song is heard in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), also featuring Tim Blake Nelson.
Despite being billed first, Sigourney Weaver does not appear until approximately forty minutes into the film.
Khleo Thomas celebrated his Bar Mitzvah (the traditional coming-of-age ceremony for Jewish teens) while making Holes (2003).
Both the book and the movie mention that Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston had hit four triples in a baseball game. In fact, the Major League record is three.
The D Tent Boys' real names are as followed: 1. X-Ray = Rex Alvin Washburn (his full name is revealed in the sequel novel Small Steps). 2. Armpit = Theodore Thomas Johnson (his full name is revealed in the sequel novel Small Steps, which incidentally focuses on his life two or three years after Camp Green Lake). 3. Squid = Alan. 4. Zigzag = Ricky. 5. Magnet = Jose. 6. Zero = Hector Zeroni 7. Caveman = Stanley Yelnats IV 8. Twitch = Brian. 9. Barf Bag = Lewis.
According to the cast commentary by the actors who play Stanley, Zero, Zigzag, and Squid, the table at which the D-Tent Boys sit in the mess hall, also served as the audition table for most of the boys who went out for their respective roles.
In the novel, when Stanley and Hector are about to leave Camp Green Lake, Squid asks Stanley to call his mom for him and tell her that Alan (Squid's real name) said he was sorry. In the film, it is Armpit who asks Stanley to do this and uses his real name, Theodore.
In the novel, when Stanley finds the gold tube, ZigZag is the one who notices and asks him about it before Stanley gives it to X-Ray, while in the film, it is Magnet who notices and asks about the tube. Also, in the novel, Stanley decides not to point out the heart shape with the letters K.B. on it, while in the film he doesn't hesitate to point it out to X-Ray and the other boys.
Shia LaBeouf (Stanley Yelnats IV) and Jon Voight (Mr. Sir) appeared in Transformers (2007).
In the film, Stanley is shown to live with both his parents and his grandfather; he and his grandfather even share a room together. But in the novel, Stanley is only ever mentioned to be living with his parents. There is never any indication in the novel that his grandfather is even still alive, much less that he lives in the same apartment. Also, the novel erroneously labels Stanley's father as Stanley Yelnats II, but in actuality, he's Stanley Yelnats III.
In the novel, the Pendanski character is called Mr. Pendanski, while in the film for no apparent reason, he is called Dr. Pendanski.
In the novel, X-Ray has Stanley move ahead of Zero in the water line right after Stanley gives him the gold tube, while in the film, X-Ray moves him up before Stanley finds and gives him the tube.
Towards the end of the film, all of the boys at Camp Greenlake run to greet Stanley and Zero after they've returned to the camp and X-Ray shares a few emotional words with Stanley just before he and Zero leave. However, in the novel, only the boys from D tent come to greet them, except for X-Ray. He lingers behind the others and then quickly returns to the Rec Room.
In the theatrical trailer for no apparent reason, Squid is the only member of the D Tent Boys who isn't mentioned. He does however appear in approximately seven shots of the trailer itself.
According to the dvd commentary by director Andrew Davis and author Louis Sachar, The Sploosh that Stanley and Hector drink is actually apple sauce mixed with molasses.
Shia LaBeouf (Stanley Yelnats IV) and Max Kasch (Zigzag) appeared in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005), which was also distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
When Stanley and Hector make their way back down from God's Thumb to dig the boulder located near the "treaure hole" is shown at sunrise. The boulder bears a resemblance to Madam Zeroni.
During one scene, we see a young man carrying a baby pig. Then the pig is drinking from a stream and then the young man is pulling a full-grown pig by a rope. The pigs were not babies, but older pigs that were small. A very large pig acted as the full-grown pig being led by a rope at the end of this scene. The young actor was shown how to handle the pig ahead of time by the trainer. The stream was very shallow and was checked out ahead of time by the trainer to make sure it was safe for the pig and the young actor to walk in and drink from. Another grown pig appeared at the end of the scene to make it appear as if the piglet was now grown. A trainer attached a halter that fit around the pigs' front legs and neck. The young actor was given the end of the rope, which he held while delivering his dialogue. The actor then gently tugged on the rope to get the pig to walk with him. A trainer stood off camera holding a bucket of grain and calling to the pig to encourage it to walk in that direction. The sounds of the pig squealing and grunting were sound effects added in during post-production.
A CZ67 or CZ-70 gun has a gun hammer part number of zas-020 (which is the Texas license plate in the movie).
Scott Plank previously starred in L.A. Takedown (1989) and Jon Voight appeared in its remake Heat (1995), both written and directed by Michael Mann.
In book and the film, the boys from D tent start calling Stanley "Caveman" after he has a brief fight with a boy known as "the lump". In the film, this happens after Stanley has been at Camp Green Lake for a few days; whereas in the book, it happens at the end of his first day.
Hector "Zero" Zeroni (Khleo Thomas) is the only member of the D Tent Boys never to call Stanley Caveman at any point in the film or in the novel.