Author John Irving doubted his novel, "A Prayer for Owen Meany", could ever be turned into a film, and sold the screen rights on the condition it not be released under the same name as his book. Irving himself provided the name Simon Birch for the producers to use in place of Owen Meany.
Jan Hooks (Ms. Leavey) and Jim Carrey (Adult Joe Wentworth) have both previously appeared in Burton/Schumacher Batman movies. Hooks had a cameo as Jen, one of Max Schreck's (Christopher Walken) image consultants in Tim Burton's Batman Returns and Carrey played Dr. Edward Nygma/The Riddler in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. Writer and Director Mark Steven Johnson wrote Jack Frost (1998) which starred Batman actor Michael Keaton and five years later would go on to write and direct Daredevil (2003) which is based on the Marvel superhero. Daredevil (2003) also starred Ben Afleck who is now going to star as Batman in Batman Vs. Superman (2016).
John Irving: the writer makes an uncredited appearance as Mr. Prescott, the butcher, seen sweeping the sidewalk in front of his shop during the scene when Simon and Joe are sitting on the local pharmacy steps eating ice cream and pondering who Joe's father might be.