Although the real-life 'Driss' was a young Algerian man called Abdel, directors Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache changed the character's nationality to West-African, as they had enjoyed working with Omar Sy on Tellement proches (2009), and really wanted him to play the part. Sy also had the experience of living in the impoverished French suburbs, just like Driss.
In 2012, Éric Toledano stated that he had received more than 3,000 thank-you messages from wheelchair users all over the world.
With 8.8 million moviegoers, this was the most successful film in Germany in 2012 (beating the likes of Skyfall (2012), Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012). It is the most successful French film in German cinema history.
9 weeks after its release, it became the second most successful French film. Welcome to the Sticks (2008) is the most successful.
As of 2013, this movie was the most successful movie in French language of all time in Germany (8.9M tickets), Spain (2.5M tickets), Italy (2.5M), Netherlands (1.2M), Switzerland, Austria, Israel, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, South Korea (1.7M tickets), Mexico (1.6M), Brazil (1M), Colombia (500000 tickets), Venezuela, Peru, Hong Kong, New-Zealand and Norway.
The music played in the background was written by Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi
First movie ever to be honored by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a US non-profit organization aiming at helping people suffering paralysis, and supporting advanced research. The directors received the HOPE award from this foundation in New-York City on November 28, 2012.
The nervousness and slight pacing of Driss in the first scene where he meets Philippe was intentional - the director wanted to contrast Driss' mobility to Philippe's immobility.
The official entry of France to the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards 2013.
Became the most successful French movie in the Netherlands, beating the previous record holder, Sarah's Key (2010).
During the car race in the beginning, most stunts were done by a professional stunt driver, but in some of the moments, Omar Sy really drove the car himself.
The two prints of Salvador Dalí works are of "Persistence of memory" (in the courier office) and "Ma femme nue regardant son propre corps devenir trois vertebres d'une colonne, ciel et architrecture" (at Philippe's house).
The poems / extracts used are from "Poemes a Lou" by Guillaume Apollinaire, "Les Fleurs du Mal - Piece XXVII" by Charles Baudelaire and "La Vierge Folle" in "Une Saison en enfer" by Arthur Rimbaud