The finale in which Cranston chases Shiwan Khan through a hall of mirrors was intended to be longer, with Khan taunting Cranston by displaying images from his violent past on the mirrors. An earthquake (Northridge, 17 January 1994 - 6.7 magnitude) destroyed the set and the filmmakers, out of time and money, were unable to complete the scene as originally envisioned.
James Luceno wrote a novelization of this film. He references other adventures of the Shadow from the pulps. He also references the Shadow's true identity of Kent Allard from the pulps (in the pulps, the Shadow only impersonated Lamont Cranston). He also has scene where Shiwan Khan taunts the Shadow by pointing out that his apparatus for fighting crime came from his opium and heroin wealth.
In Philip José Farmer's books "Tarzan Alive" and "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life" the Shadow's girlfriend, Margot Lane, was rumored to be the sister of Superman's girlfriend, Lois Lane. Margot Lane debuted on the radio in 1937.
The Shadow (originally played by James La Curto, and then famously by Frank Readick) made his debut on radio in 1931, as the third-person narrator of mystery stories on Street & Smith's Detective Story Hour. When fans of the show wrote in asking for adventures starring The Shadow himself, Street & Smith hired Walter Gibson, a magician and former ghost writer for Harry Houdini, to write a monthly series of pulp mystery novels. The Shadow Magazine ran until 1949, and was the most successful pulp series ever. Beginning in 1937, The Shadow starred in his own radio show, originally featuring Orson Welles as Lamont Cranston and Agnes Moorehead as Margo Lane. Other actors later played The Shadow on the radio show, which ran until 1955.
The silver coffin of Temujin is from The Masters of Death, the fourth Shadow pulp story to deal with Shiwan Khan, while the cigarette billboard that broadcasts Khan's commands comes from The Golden Master.
The line "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit" is taken directly from the conclusion of episodes of the radio show. At the end of every episode, after the announcer has given the credits, The Shadow would say "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay! The Shadow knows," and then laughs
The billboard of the 'Smoking man' is a parody of a real one that actually blew 'smoke' rings...the original was for 'Camel' cigarettes, whose motto was "I'd walk a mile for a 'Camel'!"; the 'Llama' cigarette motto parodies this with "I'd climb a mountain for a 'Llama'!"
The scene in which The Shadow rescues Dr. Roy Tam on the bridge is taken, though slightly altered, from the opening of The Living Shadow, the very first Shadow novel, in which The Shadow saves a man from suicide on the Brooklyn Bridge. This scene in turn resembles a scene from a Balzac novel with Balzac's rogue Vautrin.
When Commissioner Wainwright Barth arrives at the museum, he is told that Inspector Cardona is in charge of the investigation of the guard's death. In the pulps, Inspector Joe Cardona (the forerunner of Batman's Commissioner Gordon) was The Shadow's main ally on the New York police force.
The empty office with B. Jonas on the door (supposedly located in a building somewhere on 23rd Street in Manhattan) was the main drop-box for reports from The Shadow's agents in the pulps. These reports were collected by Burbank, The Shadow's contact man, who passed messages back and forth between The Shadow and his agents.
The movie Shadow character is a combination of the radio show and the pulp magazine versions. The elements from the radio show are his ability to be become invisible, the appearance of Margo Lane and the establishment of Lamont Cranston as the Shadow's actual civilian identity. The pulp magazine elements include his costume, his network of agents at his disposal and his twin automatic pistols.
During a discussion about the power source of the atomic bomb, or implosion/explosion device, beryllium spheres are mentioned as a trigger power source. Beryllium spheres are also the power source for the NSEA protector in the movie, Galaxy Quest (1999).