In the early 1990s, Sylvester Stallone was attached to star in a similar project to this film, called "Gale Force," about an ex-Navy SEAL who defends a seacoast town from a gang of modern pirates during a hurricane. David Chappe had written the script and Renny Harlin was going to direct. Carolco Pictures had a $40 million budget for the film, but creative disagreements over the script and concerns about cost forced Carolco to scrap the film and make Cliffhanger (1993) instead. Also in 1995 Stallone was involved to star in another similar film titled "No Safe Haven", written by Drew Yanno and Anthony Borghi, in which he would play ex marine who has to fight against militia-like cult who take over Martha's Vineyard and take president's family as hostages during large hurricane, and only help he has is the president who managed to escape from cult members while they were taking over the island. But "No Safe Haven" was also cancelled very early in production.
In the trailer, viewers are told that the heist is planned during the monstrous hurricane that is pushing 600 miles per hour. The Great Red Spot, a massive hurricane on Jupiter that can fit two Earths in it, is also a 600-mile-per-hour storm.
Award winning novel "Storm Crashers" by Richard Wickliffe was optioned by one of the "big-six" studios, after his unique concept of a high-tech heist during a hurricane was shopped all over Los Angeles. This movie and at least two other similar projects were planned shortly thereafter.