John Cleese is the fifth Monty Python member to appear in an adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days. Michael Palin starred in a BBC documentary in 1989 where he attempted to travel the same route as Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg. The documentary also featured appearances by Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. Eric Idle starred in the mini-series Around the World in 80 Days (1989) as Passepartout.
The French balloon man who calls the main characters insane as they jump into the basket is a cameo appearance by Sir Richard Branson. As well as being the boss of the Virgin Group, he is also famed for his sometimes life-threatening ballooning record attempts.
With a box-office loss of around thirty-eight million dollars worldwide, plus prints, advertising, and distribution, this movie is considered the biggest independently released flop in movie history (it was made by an independent group under Disney).
When Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) is stuck in San Francisco as a beggar, you can see on the wall behind him a poster advertising the mineral water "Hunyadi Janos". Named after a fifteenth century Hungarian General, this water had been discovered in 1862 and introduced to the U.S. around the 1880s, whereafter the Hunyadi water became a widely used laxative for the next couple of decades. In fact, you can also note the word "laxative" on the poster.
(At around one hour and forty-four minutes) We see Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent) in his office playing with the metal spring which we know as the Slinky. As he's playing with it, he's humming the song "It's Slinky!" from the old Slinky television commercial.
Johnny Knoxville was originally cast as the San Francisco Hobo, but had to bow out due to conflicting schedules.
DIRECTOR CAMEO (Frank Coraci): As the angry man that Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) confronts in San Francisco while asking for money.
Ian McNeice (Lord Kitchener) appeared as a minor character in the mini-series Around the World in 80 Days (1989).
Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson would also co-star in the Night at the Museum trilogy.