According to 'Coming Attractions' magazine, "The idea for the film emerged in a conversation between two lifelong friends, Israel Horovitz, writer of the screenplay, and Irwin Winkler, the producer. During their discussion of married life, they found themselves asking, 'What happens to a man when his wife runs off and leaves him with the children? Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) was one answer to this question; Author! Author! (1982) is Mr. Horowitz's answer, and it has special personal significance for him because of his own experience as a divorced father with primary responsibility for two of his three children".
The movie got Razzie nominated in one category at the Golden Raspberry Awards in 1983 for Worst Original Song for the track "Comin' Home To You (is Like Comin' Home To Milk And Cookies)" but lost out to the tune "Pumpin' And Blowin'." from The Pirate Movie (1982).
Reportedly, during production, director Arthur Hiller and actor Al Pacino did not get along. Pacino once said of this, "...sometimes people who are not really meant to be together get together in this business for a short time. It's very unfortunate for all parties concerned".
Actress Dyan Cannon was initially offered the part of Gloria Travalian but Cannon turned down the role because she felt the character was too "bitchy" and had played a "bitch" before. Later on, Cannon was given the role of Alice Detroit, and thoroughly enjoyed making this film and likened the experience to like "being on a cruise". And Tuesday Weld was cast as Gloria.
This film's lead actor Al Pacino made his New York stage debut in 1968 in "The Indian Wants the Bronx" which was a play by this film's writer Israel Horovitz. Both won Obie Awards for it and had remained friends over the years and took the opportunity here to make a movie together.
Writer Israel Horovitz once said of this film: "We all talk about what divorce does for children and how unwise it is for children to bounce from home to home, and yet the divorce rate climbs and climbs . . . I felt there was a lot of room to explore the ease which people get married in this country, the way kids come along in huge bunches".
An exterior scene scheduled to be filmed outdoors at the Plaza Hotel fountain took three months to shoot. Initially, the scene had to be re-written anyway so the shoot there was canceled for that reason. The rain, more rain and a blizzard then prevented it being shot. By the time it was filmed, it was not longer autumn but winter, so that meant it had to be re-written as an interior with the Plaza Hotel's Palm Court merely becoming just a codicil to the sequence.
Of the five children characters, one of them was from Ivan Travalian (Al Pacino's previous marriage and four of them were from Gloria Travalian (Tuesday Weld)'s earlier nuptials. All five children were products of the couple's four previous marriages.
The 2nd February 1982 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety' reported that some delays in production were allegedly due to on-set creative differences between star 'Al Pacino' and producer Irwin Winkler where Pacino allegedly repetitively showed up late to the set.
The movie got Razzie nominated in one category at the Golden Raspberry Awards in 1983 for Worst Original Song for the track Comin' Home To You (is Like Comin' Home To Milk And Cookies) but lost out to the tune Pumpin' And Blowin' from The Pirate Movie (1982).