During filming, a crew was sent to Hawaii to film an active volcano for the opening credits. During the flyover, the volcano erupted, and the helicopter carrying the crew crashed. No one was killed, but all film was lost. The opening credit scene is referenced in the film by the crystal volcano in Zeke's Room.
Joe Eszterhas' script got changed during the shoot by the producers. Eszterhas also says that he hates the movie (particularly the film's final line, "Get a life" - he claimed he would never write such a terrible ending again).
As part of the re-shot ending, Tom Berenger and Polly Walker were required to film a scene wearing S&M gear. Both actors refused as this wasn't in their original contract, so the scene had to be filmed by doubles.
Ira Levin was reluctant to sell the rights to his book. He had only been pleased with the movie adaptation of Rosemary's Baby (1968) out of all the attempts to film his novels. When producer Robert Evans, who had produced Rosemary's Baby, got wind of this, he sent Levin a copy of Roman Polanski's autobiography, with all the mentions of Evans' salvaging the film highlighted. The ploy worked and Levin sold the rights to Evans for $250,000.
According to his autobiography, producer Robert Evans initially wanted Roman Polanski to direct the film. Since Polanski will not return to the United States, Evans planned on having a second unit director shoot some footage of New York, whilst Polanski would direct the film in Paris.
Enigma's Michael Cretu was approached to compose the film's score but ultimately declined the offer. He did however contribute the song "Carly's Loneliness" to the film's soundtrack, a version of which also appeared on the second Enigma album.
Australia was set to have the "soft" US theatrical version released in cinemas. UIP, the international distributors, even had the posters printed up with the lower MA rating which said version received, but at the last minute, they decided to release the complete uncut version in theaters. All the 1-sheet posters printed (there were thousands) had to have an R-rated sticker placed over the MA rating.
In 1999. After the film screened on the TV2 network in New Zealand. The film was preceded by the music video of "Tonight" by the Kiwi pop group Truebliss. Incidentally, the name of Sharon Stone's character in the film is Carly Norris. As it happens, Carly Binding was a member of Truebliss at the time and the song is about romance and making love.