The crew was allowed to film inside the Colosseum for three days, under three conditions: no equipment could be placed on the ground, they could only shoot from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., to avoid disturbing tourists, and the only lighting allowed, was natural sunlight.
Eminem reportedly turned down an offer to star in the lead role. But an MTV report, quoted Director Doug Liman saying that his plan to have Eminem in the movie was dropped right after he met Hayden Christensen.
The movie takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The high school depicted is Huron High School, which Screenwriter David S. Goyer attended. Area teens were cast as extras, for scenes in, and around the school.
In the original novel, Roland Cox's first name was Brian. It was most likely changed to avoid confusion with actor Brian Cox. The character's name was changed from Brian to Roland to reflect the stories of ancient France. The Paladins, led by Roland, served Charlemagne, similar to the stories of England's King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Since the Paladins were not in the novel, on which the movie was based, and were added to the screenplay, the name Roland is more appropriate.
Due to strict moral grounds, and out of a respect for the Christian martyrs, a scene of Griffin urinating in the Colosseum, when he met David for the first time, has been altered by some television censors, so now Griffin's just sitting on a big rock instead.
Many things in the film are different from the book. Some of them include: The characters of Roland, Griffin, and Paladins. In the book, the main character goes by Davy, not David. Davy was the only Jumper in the book, however, Griffin's character changes this. In the movie, David knew Millie from school, in the book, they met after he ran away to New York City. In the book, David and Millie do not travel to Rome. The book spends a lot of time with Davy, trying to find his mother, and being tracked and investigated by the NSA, which has been replaced with the Paladin story arc.
David (Hayden Christensen) persuades Griffin (Jamie Bell) that they should do a "Marvel team-up" to take on Roland. Samuel L. Jackson plays Roland, and also plays Marvel's Nick Fury, a character that is largely responsible for Marvel's biggest team-up to-date, with The Avengers movies. Jamie Bell went on to play Ben Grimm, a.k.a. "Thing" in Fantastic Four (2015), also a Marvel title.