B.A. Baracus (Quinton "Rampage" Jackson) bears the tattoos "Pity" and "Fool" on his knuckles, as a tribute to Mr. T's catchphrase from Rocky III (1982): "I pity the fool!" Contrary to popular belief, Mr. T never uttered that exact phrase on The A-Team (1983).
Sharlto Copley's mom banned him from watching The A-Team (1983) at home, due to its violent nature. He watched it at friends' houses on occasion. The first thing he did when he got the role of Murdock was phone his mom and told her "that I was just getting her back for not letting me watch the series when I was a kid."
The phrase "A-Team" is heard only twice in the film, used by the judges at the military court. It's used in its technical format, referring to the United States Army Special Forces unit (Operational Detachment Alpha, "A"). It is also heard in a voice-over at the end, saying "you can hire the A-Team".
Sharlto Copley apparently used to hide a tape recorder behind the television in the television room, and record The A-Team (1983)'s audio. He would listen to it, when his parents thought he was asleep.
B.A. Baracus was a Sergeant in The A-Team (1983), and in this film, he is a former (dishonorably discharged) Corporal at the beginning of the movie, after the "eight years and eighty successful missions later" part, he is a Sergeant, as evidenced by the stripes on his uniform during the trial scene. Hannibal, Face, and Murdock retain their original ranks of Colonel, Lieutenant, and Captain, respectively.
When Face (Bradley Cooper) sees Lieutenant Sosa (Jessica Biel) for the first time, he asks her "Did you take my Steely Dan CD?" Later, when Face calls the cell phone he dropped on Sosa, the ringtone is "Reelin' In The Years" by Steely Dan.
Murdock (Sharlto Copley) pretends to be a cameraman for the South African Broadcasting Corporation while getting items for a mission. Copley is a native of South Africa and starred in the South African movie District 9 (2009).
The red cloth "flash" on the A-Team's green berets indicate that they are part of the 7th Special Forces Group. Although the 7th SFG usually specializes in operations in Central and South America, they have been frequently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
When the AC-130 gunship fires at the boathouse, Lynch says that the footage seen of the explosion on the screen looks just like Call of Duty. In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007), there is a AC-130 gunship mission that takes place on the screen of the gun operator, strongly resembling the scene. In addition, Brian Bloom (Pike) is a Call of Duty voice cast regular.
Face (Bradley Cooper) wears a Philadelphia Phillies t-shirt twice in this movie. He is seen in a 1980's blue and burgundy shirt in the beginning, and later when they are planning the big fight at the end, he wears a Clearwater Phillies shirt (the Phillies are a Major League Baseball team). Cooper is a native of Philadelphia.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was originally scheduled to face his heated rival Rashad Evans at a December UFC event. Jackson's decision to act in this movie led to a war of words between him and Dana White, President of U.F.C. Due to the conflict, On September 22, 2009, Jackson wrote on his website that he is "done fighting", and would officially retire from the activity. However, once filming was complete, Jackson and Evans fought on May 29, 2010. Evans won via unanimous decision over Jackson.
When Murdock is in the hospital in Germany, he receives a package from Hannibal addressed as "Annabel Smith". While this alias was never used on The A-Team (1983), Hannibal being referred to as "Annabel" was used in an A-Team novel. In the 1980s, Charles Heath novelized several episodes, and did an original story for the sixth book, "Operation Desert Sun: The Untold Story" set in 1972 after the A-Team returned to Los Angeles. In the book, the Team didn't know Murdock was at the V.A. hospital until he sent Face a postcard asking how "Aunt Annabel and Uncle Baracus" were.
The "Buford" tank which is on-board the C-130 the A-Team hijacks, was a real tank which the United States Army did evaluate in the mid 1990s. Only six prototypes were built and, as of 2004, the intended role of the M8 "Buford" Armored Gun System (light armored support for airborne or reconnaissance units like the 82nd Airborne) had been largely supplanted by the Stryker MGS/AFV.
Medical equipment used in the movie: the scene where the car is being "jump-started" used a PhysioControl LifePak 7 defibrillator, and where the German doctor Dwight Schultz "zapped" Murdock, the device was a real Mecta SR1 ECT, or Electro-Convulsive Therapy, machine that is used to induce a very mild seizure under controlled conditions.
Director McCready bears a distinct resemblance to General Hunt Stockwell, who appeared in the last season of The A-Team (1983) to assign the Team missions in return for issuing pardons (he kept delaying the pardons however, and the Team finally lost patience and went back on the run again).
This is the third time that Henry Czerny played a director or commander in a government service. First was as Robert Ritter, Deputy Director of Operations of the C.I.A. in Clear and Present Danger (1994). Second, he was Eugene Kittridge, director of the fictional Impossible Missions Force branch of the C.I.A. in Mission: Impossible (1996). Then in this movie as the commander of CID or USACIDC, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
The gunship that takes the A-Team under fire in their hideout at the lake is a "Lockheed AC-130 Spectre", a modified version of the C-130 cargo plane. It usually carries a medium caliber Gatling gun and various larger ordnance. The same aircraft was used in Transformers (2007).
When Hannibal and B.A. Baracus meet, it is said that Hannibal is a Colonel from the 4th Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. In reality, the 4th Ranger battalion was disbanded in 1945 after suffering extremely heavy casualties in the Battle of Cisterna, and no longer existed in 2002 when the scene takes place. But, since this was a fictional story, the point is rendered moot.
Two of the original The A-Team (1983) members make appearances in the movie: at Penascola, Face gets tips from fellow inmate Milt (played by Dirk Benedict, the original Face; and at Frankfurt, Murdock is analyzed by a German doctor (played by Dwight Schultz, the original Murdock). Mr. T was approached to make his own cameo, but declined, saying that he was so devoted to B.A. that if he did not play him again, there was no point in making the cameo. George Peppard, who played the original Hannibal, could not make a cameo as he had died in 1994.
When the C.I.A. operator is giving the go ahead for the drone strike on the A-Team, he uses the call sign "Broadsword" in a shout-out to Where Eagles Dare (1968) starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton where Richard Burton uses the same "Broadsword" call sign.
According to the insignia on his uniform, General Morrison is the commander of the 8th Infantry Division, also known as the "Pathfinders". However, the real 8th Infantry Division was disbanded in 1992, and so could not have been in Iraq during the film's time frame. However, the choice of using the 8th's insignia may have been a deliberate choice by the filmmakers to disassociate the A-team and the events of the film from reality.
Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Brian Bosworth, howie long, stephen lang, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, josh brolin, Dennis Quaid, John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Ron Perlman, Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal were considered to play Hannibal Smith.