Original writer Jerico saw the story as a dark allegory about child abuse. That was how it was pitched to Paramount in 1981. They never wound up producing the film, but they do own the TV/digital rights to the story.
The Bag impersonates Carl Sagan in one scene. (The impersonation is done by Harry Shearer). Sagan was one of America's foremost astronomers and cosmologists. He also wrote the novel Contact, which was adapted into the film of the same name.
Director Richard Benjamin was worried about the state of the clawlike fake nails Kim Basinger wore for the film: "The most horrifying call we would ever get was from her driver, saying that on the way in, a nail broke."