Brendan Fraser was Cornelia Funke's personal choice for the role of Mo, as he was her inspiration for the character. She even dedicated the second novel of the trilogy to him and sent him a signed copy. The producers originally wanted a bigger Hollywood star but on the insistence of Funke they gave in and accepted him in the role.
Though the original novel was written in German, author Cornelia Funke didn't want a German adaptation of it, or of any of her works for that matter, as she herself states that she is "not a fan of the German way of acting".
The film's release was delayed several times. Indeed, it was originally to come out for Christmas 2007, which was pushed back to March 19th 2008 before finally premiering in Germany on December 11th 2008, and a day later in the UK.
This film stars two actors who have both appeared in two different adaptations of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist": Andy Serkis (who plays Capricorn) was in the 1999 mini-series adaptation, whilst Jamie Foreman (who plays Basta) was in the Roman Polanski 2005 adaptation. Both actors portrayed the villain Bill Sikes/Sykes.