(at around one hour and thirteen minutes) The black and white commercial featuring Sarah Jordan wasn't shot specifically for the movie; it is an actual commercial starring Scarlett Johansson.
Tom Lincoln is from Scotland, and has a liking for custom sport bikes - these character traits are based on those of Ewan McGregor.
Robert S. Fiveson, director of The Clonus Horror (1979), brought a copyright infringement suit against DreamWorks and Warner Brothers. The lawsuit cited almost one hundred points of similarity between "Clonus" and this film, and the court ruled that Fiveson made a prima facie case for infringement. Before the case could go to trial, DreamWorks settled with the plaintiffs for an undisclosed seven-figure amount.
Michael Bay drove behind a flatbed truck carrying train wheels on the highway leaving Palmdale, and, noticing how dangerous it looked, was inspired to create a destructive chase scene involving one.
During the filming of the scene when Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor are running from the censors out of the atrium, the camera operator was running with them for a tracking shot. He tripped on the dolly track, onto the camera, and was badly injured.
On the commentary track, director Michael Bay claims that the agnate birth scene required 154 gallons of K-Y jelly.
The Cadillac Cien, driven by Lincoln Six Echo, is a one-off concept car built for the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. The car was named to celebrate Cadillac's 100th anniversary, Cien being the Spanish word for "hundred." Powered by an experimental 750 horsepower 7.5-liter V-12 engine, it features a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive powertrain, and a carbon fiber composite body.
(at around one hour and 26 minutes) The L.A.P.D. shield that Jamie McBride holds during the chase in the building, is his actual shield as a police officer.
While filming the highway chase, the rig carrying the jet bike reached over the highway median and destroyed a Panavision camera.
The black yacht in the dreams of Lincoln Six Echo, shown later in the film (the Renovatio) is the Wallypower 118 super yacht. The boat is built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and glass with a teak-deck. The boat features three Vericor TF50 gas turbines, providing a total power output is 16,800 horsepower (12,500 kW).
The buttons used to open doors in the living quarters are actually Griffin PowerMate USB Volume Controls, used normally for Mac computers to adjust volume.
Though the city shots through the middle of the film are purportedly in Los Angeles, the city of Detroit served as the principal location for filming. Notable landmarks include the Johnny Rocket's restaurant on Woodward Avenue across from Comerica Park, the giant building mural of Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, the U.S. Federal Building, and the raised tracks of the People Mover. These shots were overlaid with CGI-produced shots of tall, futuristic buildings to create the composite city of "Los Angeles".
The Calvin Klein poster, the Calvin Klein spot and some of the photos at Lincoln's house are authentic.
After emerging from the ground, the ruins they spend the first night in are in Rhyolite, Nevada, a ghost town near Beatty, Nevada, 127 miles west of Las Vegas.
The Aces and Spades Club is the old Marina and Yacht club of the Salton Sea. Abandoned for many years, it was renovated and is now the Sea and Desert Interpretive Center.
In the scene where the jet bike crashes through the office building, an extra is pushed by the oncoming bike into a glass window. This was completely unscripted; the extra was not a stuntman, and couldn't clear the bike's path fast enough. Fortunately, the special effects crew managed to detonate the explosives to shatter the glass a few seconds early, which, according to Michael Bay, may have saved his life. Miraculously, the man sustained no serious injuries.
Over a third of the entire movie was shot on the new Arriflex 235 system. In July 2004, director Michael Bay bought one directly from the Arri camera company before it shipped. After filming he called it the smallest and the lightest camera ever used since it allowed fast pans. The camera weighs 7.7 lbs, exactly half the weight of the 435 series camera.
Scarlett Johansson's character Jordan Two-Delta was originally named Ester and was meant to be pregnant in earlier drafts by Caspian Tredwell-Owen.
The scene with the abandoned motel is in Desert Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea in California. The motel was in front of the abandoned Aces and Spades Club. The club was the site of the Salton Sea's Yacht Club. The motel has since been torn down and the club made into a museum of the Salton Sea.
The phone used by Tom Lincoln is the Nokia 8800/8801 model. At the time of the movie filming this was merely a concept phone; it was subsequently mass released.
The cubism-style painting by Pablo Picasso in Merrick's office is the "Femme Assise (Jacqueline)" created in 1961.
Bears an uncanny resemblance to the novel "Spares" by British author, Michael Marshall-Smith.
Some shots during the train wheel chase were re-used in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), also directed by Michael Bay.
Tom Lincoln mentions that Jordan's sponsor was featured in Esquire magazine. In 2006 and 2013 Scarlett Johansson was Esquire Magazine's sexiest woman alive.
A 45-minute preview of the film was shown to the press at the Cannes Film Festival.
The turtle-shaped car in Tom Lincoln's display case is a model of John Cobb's "Railton-Mobil Special", which broke the World Land Speed Record three times in 1938, 1939, and 1947. The latter record stood for nearly sixteen years, when it was broken by Craig Breedlove's "Spirit of America" jet car. Subsequent piston-engined cars have only pushed up the record by eleven miles per hour.
Michael Bay claimed that one of the challenges of production, was that the scenes set in the compound were filmed on factory floors noisy with machinery. Sometimes it would be so loud, that the crew actually had to wear hearing protection.
In one scene in the movie, a Bugatti Veyron is seen driving down a street in the background. Currently the Bugatti is sold for 1.25 million dollars, and only about fifty are made yearly.
Four actors reunite in this film that appeared in Michael Bay's Armageddon (1999): Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Ellis, and Shawnee Smith.
The gun that Jordan Two Delta finds in Tom Lincoln's room is a North American Arms Guardian .380 two-tone pocket pistol. The gun that Tom Lincoln takes with him is a Makarov stainless.
McCord (Steve Buscemi) goes to get a map of Los Angeles for Lincoln and Jordan in the train station, and tells them to stay put. In Escape from L.A. (1996), his character is Map to the Stars Eddie.
When Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta ask where Mac is at the Aces and Spades. the bartender, played by Chris Ellis, responds with "And you would be who?" He says a similar statement to Rachel Taylor, in Transformers (2007) (also directed by Michael Bay), when she interrupts a briefing.