Liam Neeson expected the film to bomb, but he signed on in order spend four months in Paris and learn karate, while playing the kind of role he had rarely been offered in the past. Ironically, not only was the film a massive hit, but created a new on-screen image for Neeson as an action hero.
Jeff Bridges was first cast as Bryan Mills, but after he dropped out of the project Liam Neeson accepted the part, desiring to play a more physically demanding role than he was used to. Bridges eventually saw the film, and said Neeson was a much better choice for the role.
Former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Mick Gould trained Liam Neeson in combatives and weapons handling skills to prepare him for the role.
Doing this film inspired Famke Janssen to take action in the fight against corruption. She now serves as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Liam Neeson has stated in interviews that the biggest misunderstanding that people seem to take from the movie is that Europe (and France in particular) is a place where young people are at high risk of being abducted by human traffickers. He has said that several American parents thanked him after the movie for warning them of the dangers, saying they would no longer allow their children to go an a trip to France. Neeson always takes time to explain that the dangers were highly exaggerated for the film, and tells parents that they should encourage their children to get out of the USA more often.
Before any action takes place, Bryan already has scratches to the left side of his face, hinting at his "spare time" activities.
The map that Bryan is holding, when he finds out about the girls' plans at the airport at the beginning of the movie, is an old Europe map (probably dated 1992), as the now dissolved Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia can clearly be seen. Czechoslovakia separated into two independent countries, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, in 1993. Yugoslavia was dissolved in 1992.
Maggie Grace was reportedly trained by world-renowned running coach Alberto Salazar in order to learn the finer points of running like a 12-year-old girl.
In the film, Katie Cassidy's character (Amanda) is nineteen years old and Maggie Grace's character (Kim) is seventeen years old. In real life, Grace is older than Cassidy by three years.
All of Liam Neeson's character's ex-agency friends were played by actors who had previous roles in "spy" or "cop thriller" television shows and movies. Jon Gries played a major role in The Pretender (1996), Leland Orser was in both The Pretender (1996) and 24 (2001), and David Warshofsky had appeared in minor roles in numerous similar shows.
Liam Neeson and Clive Standen, who plays Bryan in Taken (2017), are both from Northern Ireland.
The singer's name in the movie is Sheerah. In Hebrew, shirah is the feminine form of the word meaning "singing" or "poetry".
Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen have both played characters from comic books. Neeson who plays Bryan Mills previously played Henri Ducard/Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins (2005). Janssen who plays Lenore plays Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men trilogy (2000-2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).