Stephen King's original novel was released simultaneously with The Regulators, written by King's alter ego, Richard Bachman. Though the story and location are different, many characters appear in both novels.
On 10 December 2004, a set in the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) being used to film a mine collapse caught fire when the special effects department made a big mistake. Five people were injured, two of them enough to need hospitalization. The fire destroyed everything on the set, including all of the production gear and equipment, and the TCC sustained heavy water and smoke damage. The invitations to the premier screening said "the film that set Tucson on fire."
In Johnny Marinville's (Tom Skerritt) flashback to Vietnam, the club that he flees just before the explosion was built into an empty storefront on Tucson's Congress Street. It's directly across from the Hotel Congress, where John Dillinger and his gang were based when they were in Tucson. As of September 2006 the storefront remains empty and boarded up.
Stephen King was reportedly annoyed that the ABC Network decided to show the film on the same evening that the popular TV series American Idol aired. King blamed the Networks poor scheduling decision for the disappointing ratings that Desperation received.