After finishing work on the film, Georges Méliès intended to release it in America and thereby make lots of money. Unfortunately, Thomas A. Edison's film technicians had already secretly made copies of the film, which was shown across the USA within weeks. Melies never made any money from the film's American showings, and went broke several years later (while Edison made a fortune on the film.)
In 2002, a print of the film was discovered in a barn in France. It was amazing in that not only is it the most complete cut of the film, but it was entirely hand-colored. The film was restored and premiered at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival the following year.
Although no official credits are included, Georges Méliès left a record in a 1930 letter with cast and crew credits. Ballet girls from the Théâtre du Châtelet portrayed the stars while the Selenites were portrayed by acrobats from the Folies Bergère.
American rock band Smashing Pumpkins used this film as inspiration for their award winning music video "Tonight Tonight". The ship which sails in at the end of the music video is named Méliès after this films director Georges Méliès.