Director Michael Haneke has said that he never intended 'Funny Games' to be a horror film. Instead his idea was to make a film with a moralistic comment about the influence of media violence on society. It's a subject that Haneke is quite passionate about.
According to director Michael Haneke, star Susanne Lothar would often have to force herself to cry for nearly 20 minutes before her takes. He said the scene in which she is forced to pray required 28 takes and Lothar was tremendously drained by the ordeal. It was the weakened reaction that Haneke wanted from her for the scene.
Actress Isabelle Huppert was offered the lead role of Ann but turned it down as she thought both the film and the lead character's hardships were too disturbing to portray. She regretted the decision later after seeing it, but still admitted she probably wouldn't have the courage to do it.
The auto racing on TV is likely a rerun of an event in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, or German Touring Car Championship) series. The DTM was canceled after 1996 due to high costs, then reformulated and re-instated in 2000.