During the filming of the scene when Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor are running from the censors out of the atrium the camera operator was running with them for a tracking shot. He tripped on the dolly track, onto the camera, and was badly injured.
Robert S. Fiveson, director of The Clonus Horror (1979), brought a copyright infringement suit against DreamWorks and Warner Bros. The lawsuit cited almost 100 points of similarity between "Clonus" and this film, and the court ruled that Fiveson made a prima facie case for infringement. Before the case could go to trial, DreamWorks settled with the plaintiffs for an undisclosed seven-figure amount.
The Cadillac Cien, driven by Lincoln 6 Echo, is a one-off concept car built for the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. The car was named to celebrate Cadillac's 100th anniversary, Cien being the Spanish word for "hundred." Powered by an experimental 750 horsepower 7.5-liter V-12 engine, it features a rear mid-engine / rear wheel drive powertrain configuration and a carbon fiber composite body.
Though the city shots through the middle of the film are purportedly in Los Angeles, the city of Detroit served as the principal location for filming. Notable landmarks include the Johnny Rocket's restaurant on Woodward Avenue across from Comerica Park, the giant building mural of Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, the U.S. Federal Building, and the raised tracks of the People Mover. These shots were overlaid with CGI-produced shots of tall, futuristic buildings to create the composite city of "Los Angeles".
The black yacht in the dreams of Lincoln 6 Echo, shown later in the film (the Renovatio) is the Wallypower 118 super yacht. The boat is built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, Kevlar and glass with a teak-deck. The boat features three Vericor TF50 gas turbines, providing a total power output is 16,800 horsepower (12,500 kW).
Over a third of the entire movie was shot on the new Arriflex 235 system. In July 2004, director Michael Bay bought one directly from the Arri camera company before it shipped. After filming he called it the smallest and the lightest camera ever used since it allowed fast pans. The camera weighs 7.7 lbs, exactly half the weight of the 435 series camera.
The scene with the abandoned motel is in Desert Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea in California. The motel was in front of the abandoned Aces and Spades Club. The club was the site of the Salton Sea's Yacht Club. The motel has since been torn down and the club made into a museum of the Salton Sea.
The turtle-shaped car in Tom Lincoln's display case is a model of John Cobb's "Railton-Mobil Special", which broke the World Land Speed Record three times in 1938, 1939 and 1947. The latter record stood for nearly 16 years, when it was broken by Craig Breedlove's "Spirit of America" jet car. Subsequent piston-engined cars have only pushed up the record by 11 m.p.h.
When Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta ask where Mac is at the Aces and Spades. the bartender played by Chris Ellis responds with "And you would be who?" He says a similar statement to Rachel Taylor in Transformers (also Directed by Michael Bay) when she interrupts a briefing.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Michael Bay recalled the scene where Lincoln Six and Tom Lincoln fight as long and tedious to shoot, since it took half an hour to change Ewan McGregor's clothes between each shot so he could play both characters.
Michael Bay expressed disappointment with the climatic fight between Lincoln and Merrick, saying that he had originally planned a much more elaborate set piece, but their budget was running low, and the action had to be improvised on sets that weren't easy to stage stunts on.