Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) make a joke about child actors not amounting to much. Bateman was a child actor famous for his role in Valerie (1986).
Prior to filming, the cast members had their own "game night" so they could get to know one another and prepare for the film. They played Clue and Joking Hazard.
Jason Bateman was originally set to direct the film, but John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein would only work on a rewrite of the script if they could also direct.
In addition to referencing Quentin Tarantino's films Pulp Fiction (1994) and Django Unchained (2012), the movie includes a scene filmed in a single take, a technique often used by Tarantino.
Ryan (Billy Magnussen) keeps referencing an underground fight club. During a guessing game, Max (Jason Bateman) has to get Annie and his friends to guess the actor Ed Norton. Edward Norton was one of the main stars of Fight Club (1999).
Director John Francis Daley played Carter in the film. In Horrible Bosses (2011) he played a character also named Carter.
This was the second film Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams starred in together. The first was State of Play (2009).
Jesse Plemons and Billy Magnussen both appeared in the Black Mirror (2011) episode Black Mirror: USS Callister (2017).
The character of Gary Kingsbury was named after John Francis Daley's wife, Corinne Kingsbury.
The real name of the actor who plays 'Not Denzel' is Malcolm X. Hughes. Denzel Washington played the lead role in Malcolm X (1992).
The opening title sequence shows game pieces from many classic board games including Battleship. Battleship is later referenced as a game Max and Brooks played as kids. Jesse Plemons who plays Gary had a role in the movie Battleship (2012).
The film contains references to Iron Man (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rachel McAdams had a role in Doctor Strange (2016), also from the MCU.
One of the filming locations was RiRa Irish Pub, 1010 Peachtree Street. NE, Atlanta, GA on April 4, 2017.
In keeping with the theme of games referenced in the film, there is a subtle reference to a classic 1970s board game. When the group first enter Donald Anderton's (Danny Huston) lavish home, the painting "Old Man with a Gold Chain" by Rembrandt can be seen hanging on the wall. This is one of the paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago which is featured in the board game Masterpiece.
Kyle Chandler and Jesse Plemons both starred on the TV show Friday Night Lights (2006).
The film was promoted on February 12, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia by Micaela Dee and her fellow "Murder Mystery Dinner Theater" players.
Both Jesse Plemons and Kyle Chandler have starred in Grey's Anatomy (2005). Plemons played Jake Burton in season two, a patient with advanced craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. Chandler starred as Dylan Young, from the bomb squad in season two.
This was the second film Rachel McAdams and Michael Cyril Creighton appeared in together. The first was Spotlight (2015).