Hans Zimmer was to have scored the film, but when the first edit of the film was sent to him, it turned out his schedule could not fit with the post-production schedule. The film was scored by Yuriy Poteenko in the end.
Director/producer/actor Fedor Bondarchuk regards the role of Procurator as the best role he ever played. On the other hand, he said in an interview that he was so outraged by Vasiliy Stepanov's bad acting that he had a nervous breakdown and recovered only about 18 months after the filming. Stepanov's acting was so bad that the editors had to combine many cuts when editing the film, Bondarchuk also said. Stepanov, who was not yet even a theatrical school student when he got the part, admitted himself that "the crew had a tough time with [him]" and avoided a straightforward answer when asked if he thought whether the film was good.
The symbols of the Country of Unknown Fathers are very similar to those of the Hungarian national socialist Arrow Cross Party, which is probably due to the fact that the names used on the planet of Saraksh both in the film and in the original novel are based on Hungarian-language names.
For about a year the movie held the title of the most expensive Russian movie ever made, which previously belonged to Nikita Mikhalkov's movie The Barber of Siberia (1998) for more than a decade. In 2010 the budget of Obitaemyy ostrov was beaten by that of another movie by Mikhalkov, Burnt by the Sun 2 (2010).
Personal guitars of Paul McCartney, Sting, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath were used for recording the film's score. Producer Sergey Melkumov had the idea to use them when a friend of his, who owned a collection of vintage guitars, presented two guitars out of those to him and to cinematographer Maksim Osadchiy-Korytkovskiy.
Boris Strugatskiy, one of the authors of the original book, who did not write any scripts after his brother and co-author Arkadiy Strugatskiy died in 1991, refused to script the film but when Marina Dyachenko and Sergey Dyachenko, also Sci-Fi authors, were hired, he said, "They can't write a bad script." According to Fedor Bondarchuk, there were 28 versions of the script, all of which "were very close to the Strugatskys' text".
Vasiliy Stepanov admitted the first piece of science fiction he ever read was the script of this film. His childhood icon was Bruce Lee whom he saw on the video.
Vasiliy Stepanov and Pyotr Fyodorov had to work out a lot to prepare for their roles. Fedor Bondarchuk recalls that he gave Stepanov a gym subscription and told him to "look like Apollo after six months." Stepanov started training before Fyodorov and became so massive Fyodorov didn't believe it was Stepanov at first when he came to the same gym and saw him. Later on, Stepanov and Fyodorov trained together and Fyodorov, too, gained 20 kilograms. Yuriy Kutsenko was also amazed to see Stepanov after training, saying he wanted to become an action hero again.
Producer Alexander Rodnyansky wanted to screen "The Inhabited Island" by Arkadiy Strugatskiy and Boris Strugatskiy since he was 12 and "always" wondered why no one had done it before.
Yulia Snigir, who was one of the last actors and actresses to be cast, compared her role and other roles from the film between the book and the script and kept asking director Fedor Bondarchuk about the point of the differences. She thinks it outraged him so much he "was ready to kill" her at that time.
The film was a relative commercial failure. Despite grossing around $30 million from two parts summarily and ranking among the top-grossing films of Russia's modern cinema, it didn't repay its budget of $36 million. The movie was released for home video very shortly after it exited theatres. According to Fedor Bondarchuk, this helped the film to become profitable eventually.
Boris Strugatskiy, the only one of the book's co-authors who lived to see the film, said the film is a "directors' success", noting its faithfulness to the novel. He praised the work of Aleksey Serebryakov, Fedor Bondarchuk and Sergey Garmash, but expressed disappointment over the work of Yuriy Kutsenko, Anna Mikhalkova and Andrey Merzlikin. He noted Vasiliy Stepanov as one of the biggest success of the film.