In the original short story by P. K. Dick the plot takes place on Earth, instead of Sirius 6B. Originally, Screamers were designed by Americans troops hiding in the moon to destroy the Russian Army after the Soviet Union had completely wiped out the United States.
At one point Hendricksson refers to someone sarcastically as "a real Perky Pat." This is a reference to the short story "The Days of Perky Pat" and the novel "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch." Both were written by Philip K. Dick, who wrote the short story "Second Variety" on which "Screamers" is based.
Dan O'Bannon had been working on the screenplay for Screamers (1995) as early as 1981. The October 10, 1984 draft credits Michael Campus as co-writer. It is unknown whether Campus also intended to direct.