According to Paul W.S. Anderson, Kurt Russell worked out three or four hours a day for eighteen months to get himself into the "pumped-up" condition he displays in this film. Anderson says the making of "Soldier" was actually postponed to allow Russell to do this, because Russell thought it was so important to Sgt. Todd's character; Anderson made Event Horizon (1997) in the interim, while Russell made no other movies during that time.
Writer David Webb Peoples has said that Soldier is a "side-quel" to Blade Runner (1982) (which he also wrote) because it takes place in the same universe and in fact the vehicles used by the Blade Runners - spinners - are also used in Soldier.
While listing the weapons Todd is trained on, you can see he is capable of using the "Illudium PU36 ES,M" otherwise known as the Illudium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator. This is the same weapon Marvin the Martian is always threatening to use on Earth in his Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Kurt Russell sustained a broken ankle during the first week of filming, and got a week off. When he came back, all of the scenes where he was laying down were filmed. They followed that with the sitting-down scenes, then the standing-still scenes. Finally, the action scenes were shot. The last scene filmed was the "running" scene between Todd and Caine 607 near the beginning of the movie.
Among the garbage on the planet is the USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the F-117X Remora from Executive Decision (1996), a spinner from Blade Runner (1982), and a piece of the Lewis & Clark from Event Horizon (1997).
Among the snakes used in the film are Thai vipers and are extremely venomous. Stitches can be seen around their mouths to render them safe. Nevertheless when Kurt Russell is seen to be holding one of the snakes, it's not really his hand. The snakes were deemed to be too dangerous to be held by the film's star.
The trailer featured a spectacular space battle involving 20-30 ships around a planet. The film contained no such scene, nor could it plausibly have done so except perhaps as a flashback. It was probably a marketing ploy.
Freeze frame the 'Trinity Moons' data readout display in the closing scene and you will find several references to "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy". The 'Top Archive Specifications' comes up with ZZ9.Plurl.ZA (the sector in which Earth is reported to be) which comes up in Zaphod mode. On the right under 'Search Results' you can see 'Slartibartfast' complete with an 'HHG' reference number.
Todd's Unit Statistics reference the Dungeons and Dragons Ability scores: STR, DEX, INT(L), WIS, and DEX. It also shows stats for his damage (DAM), hit points (HTPT), language (LNG), loyalty (LOY), and even RSR, which means "Resurrection."
When first submitted to the MPAA movie got NC-17 rating and some of the violence had to be cut down for R rating. The eye gouging scene in the fight between Todd and Caine in the beginning was the most heavily cut violent scene.
Mekum wetting his pants when he sees Todd alive and well and back to punish him was not in the original script, it was improvised on set. The urine dripping out of Mekum's pants was actually pineapple juice.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In Connie Nielsen's later film Gladiator (2000), her character Lucilla falls in love with the Roman soldier General Maximus, after the death of her husband. In this film, Todd, a soldier, falls in love with Sandra (Nielsen), whose husband Mace is killed.
The film bares similarities to the 1994 film "Escape from Absolom" starring Ray Liotta. Todd is a soldier and is dumped on the garbage planet by Col. Mekum. Todd lives among the crash survivors on the planet and is nursed back to health by Sandra and Mace, when Todd is injured. Todd befriends Nathan. Todd experiences flashbacks of his days as a soldier and one of the battles he fought in, which innocent people were killed. Todd attends a Christmas party with the survivors. The colony is attacked by the genetic engineered soldiers, which Todd helps to defend. Todd fights and kills Caine 607, whom led the attack on the colony. Todd and the old soldiers hijack the military ship and throws Colonel Mekum, Rubrick and Sloan off the ship and leave them behind to die on the garbage planet and escapes.