The poem about Sabrina the water sprite is actually an excerpt from a masque called Comus, by John Milton. In turn, Sabrina (in the Milton poem) is based on a Welsh tale about a princess named Sabrina who was thrown in a river that is the boundary between Wales and England. The water deity Nereus took pity on Sabrina and turned her into a river goddess.
Sydney Pollack initially turned down the chance to direct the remake, thinking the material too dated to work effectively in 1995. Once he agreed to take it on, Pollack made sure he had the approval of the original's director, Billy Wilder.
A joke appearing a couple of times in the movie, where Linus is referred to as "the world's only living heart donor". Since this movie was filmed, a transplant operation has been perfected creating living heart donors. Clinton House, a cystic fibrosis patient, donated his healthy heart to John Couch in 1987 after receiving a healthy heart and lungs set from an anonymous donor - making him the first living heart donor. Since then, similar operations occur three or four times a year.
The exterior shots of the airplane that Sabrina and Linus flew in was a Gulfstream IV aircraft. It was actually the aircraft used by Gulfstream as a demonstrator taken to air shows and other publicity events. A large roman numeral IV can be seen on the tail of the aircraft.
The interior shots of the airplane were filmed in the Gulfstream V interior mock-up, a Gulfstream airplane fuselage used to show potential customers what the interior of the aircraft would look like prior to the manufacture of any of the planes.