When Tango and Cash escape from the prison, Cash turns to Tango and asks if he stopped "for coffee and a Danish." Tango says, "I hate Danish," an in-joke referring to Sylvester Stallone's recent divorce from Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen.
Director Andrey Konchalovskiy was replaced towards the end of principal photography by Albert Magnoli. In his book of memoirs, Konchalovsky says that the reason he was fired was because he wanted to give the film a more serious tone than the producers wanted, and as such, his relationship with producer Jon Peters became untenable. Konchalovsky however has nothing but praise for Sylvester Stallone, whom he states was a constant voice of reason on the set.
The glasses Sylvester Stallone wears early in the film are his own, not props. He usually wears contact lenses in his films. The lenses show that he is very near-sighted in one eye, less so in the other. Plus, he has astigmatism.
When Brion James was originally hired to play Requin, it was a very small role with only two lines. In an effort to give the character something that would make him stand out, James decided to speak in a horrible "cockney" accent. Sylvester Stallone loved it, and rewrote the script to give Requin a much bigger role.
While filming the scene where the back of the SUV catches fire, the flames would not go out when filming was over. Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone were caught in a cross draft. Stallone was so close to the fire that his hair was singed in places.
Years later after "Tango & Cash", Sylvester Stallone offered the role of "Mr. Church" to Kurt Russell in the 2010 action flick "The Expendables". Russell declined the role, which was then accepted by Bruce Willis.
The climatic battle in the quarry was shot in a real quarry in Irwindale, California, east of Los Angeles. Every shot in the sequence was filmed by a minimum of eleven cameras, and some of the setups were so dangerous, the stunt team was only allowed to do them once.
Kurt Russell was originally considered and offered the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987) but he turned it down and it went to Mel Gibson, whom he worked with a year later on Tequila Sunrise (1989). His character in this film is loosely based on Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987).
The theatrical trailer shows some alternate and deleted scenes; alternate cut of the shower scene between Tango and Cash, deleted or alternate fight scene between Cash and the Chinese assassin during which Cash says "I hate you karate guys", and a deleted scene in which Tango is reading the newspapers and then pulling out a Spas 12 shotgun at someone and shooting at some car with it.
Originally, the part of Katherine, Tango's sister was to be played by Daphne Ashbrook and she was not suppose to be Tango's biological sister, maybe an adopted sister or a foster child his parents took in. But, when they decided to make her his actual sister, they recast the role with Teri Hatcher, who slightly resembles Stallone.
One of the monster trucks at the quarry scene towards the end is the famous Bigfoot truck. Although it's painted different colors than its trademark blue color, and does not feature any Bigfoot decals, it was confirmed that it is in fact Bigfoot by owner of the original monster truck Bob Chandler.
A total of four different people directed Tango & Cash. Original director Andrei Konchalovsky, who was fired after about three months of filming by producer Jon Peters, and Stallone after movie went over budget and schedule (but not by his fault), Executive Producer Peter MacDonald who was also second unit director then took over directing on the movie for some time (a year earlier MacDonald had to step in as a director for Stallone's previous movie Rambo III after the original director was fired by Stallone), then Albert Magnoli was hired as new director to finish the movie (but even after principal photography was finished, he caused two more weeks of further delays after he decided to re-shoot some parts of the movie), and Sylvester Stallone was also directing the movie behind the scenes (something he was known for, especially during the 80s). None of them however had any control over the editing of the movie. Instead, Warner Bros. hired expert editor Stuart Baird to re-edit the movie after they expressed strong dislike for initial rough cut. Baird hired another editor Hubert de La Bouillerie to help out when Warner Bros. kept complaining on every different cut of the movie that was edited, which almost caused for release date to be pushed way further than planned. In the end, the movie was finally approved for theatrical release by Warner Bros. and it ended up being shipped to theaters only a week after its original release date as "wet prints" - an industry term meaning that the movie was just barely completed before its release date.
There was a rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered to play Gabriel Cash opposite Stallone as Ray Tango in an effort to get them together, being 80s action heroes. But it wasn't true at all. They later worked together on the Expendables movies, which were an homage to 80s and 90s action films, and Escape Plan (2013). Arnold and Sly also were both considered for John McClane in Die Hard (1988), the lead roles of Sean Archer and Castor Troy in Face/Off (1997), which went to John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, and each other's roles in The Terminator (1984), Assassins (1995), Judge Dredd (1995), etc.
The tank-like SUV seen in the film (with a windshield shape resembling a 1990s-era Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan) was built from a 1988 Chevrolet K2500 truck. At the time of the film's release, the vehicle resembled a GM concept (a 1987 Chevrolet Blazer XT-1) which was planned as a crossover-like SUV which was powered with a Chevrolet 4.3L V6 - the engine block and cylinder heads were cast in aluminum alloy. GM did not proceed with the Blazer XT-1 but its styling cues were used with the W-body "Dustbuster" minivans (Lumina, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Trans Sport).
At 3:25 Ray Tango, played by Sylvester Stallone assists in the arrest of a "major moving violation" along the highway. There, one of the state troopers refers to Ray Tango as Rambo. Sylvester Stallone played the part of Rambo in 1982
Jeffrey Boam, who worked on the scripts for two of the Lethal Weapon films, was one of the writers who did a re-write of the script during the movie's troubled production. But, because he either didn't like the draft he wrote, or the film, he refused to be credited.