The credited writer Martin Hardy is actually a pseudonym for the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, who had his name taken off the film after a falling-out with longtime collaborator Michael Winterbottom.
The film features several pieces of music by Nino Rota from the Federico Fellini film 8½ (1963), which is also about frustrated efforts to make a movie.
Stephen Rodrick was on set to interview Michael Winterbottom for the New York Times magazine (published on 3 July 2005) when he was roped in to appear in the film.
The film also features several pieces of music used by Stanley Kubrick in similar situations in Barry Lyndon (namely the Sarabande by Georg Fridrich Händel and traditional British Grenadiers), a film set in about the same location and period.
Tony Wilson: The real Tony Wilson (who Steve Coogan played in 24 Hour Party People (2002), another Michael Winterbottom film) plays himself, interviewing Steve Coogan on the film set. The somewhat spiky relationship between the two (who also worked together on local TV in the early 1990s) is subtly referenced in Coogan's lukewarm "let's catch up in Manchester".