Chuck Pfarrer explained in an interview that the comic book was based on the script that he wrote in the early-'90s. Because of the special effects that the script called for, it was impossible to make the script into a movie at that time, and he handed it to Dark Horse Comics who published it in 1995. Several years later, when special effects technology had caught up, Pfarrer revised the original script.
In an IGN.com interview; Jamie Lee Curtis said the following about Virus (1999): "Rob Reiner for his 40th birthday had a bad show business party where everybody brought show business clips. Rob's was playing a hippie on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) singing 'Blowin' in the Wind'. Virus (1999) is so bad that it's shocking. That would be the all time piece of shit. It's just dreadful. That's the only good reason to be in bad movies. Then when your friends have [bad] movies you can say 'Ahhhh, I've got the best one. I'm bringing Virus (1999).'"
The ship used for this movie's setting was the ex-USAFS Hoyt S. Vandenberg. At the time of filming the ship had been decommissioned since the mid-80's and mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, Virginia. May 27, 2009, she was sunk outside Key West, Florida, USA to serve as an artificial reef and for recreational diving. She still had the Russian name on her from the movie as she went down.
Because of the ship being mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, on the border of Isle of Wight County and city of Newport News, the ship was covered in rust and disrepair when the filming started. For the movie, one side of the ship was painted and dressed up, leaving the other half in poor condition. Hence, only one side of the ship was ever filmed on camera for the movie.
In the Russian film distribution all Russian speech in an introductory scene was entirely dubbed into Russian again, because of very strong accent (Joanna Pacula speaks Russian with very noticeable accent) and very poor audibility and noticeable plainness.