A New York Times review of the film quotes Joan Jett as saying that when she listened to the first tape of Kristen Stewart singing one of her songs, she thought it was a mistake and that it was actually her.
Joan Jett was irritated with the fact that Kristen Stewart was constantly in leather pants. She stated in the DVD commentary that jeans would have been more accurate because she never wore leather pants.
Joan Jett's one regret about this film is that the title card at the end of the film that reveals the fate of herself, Kim Fowley and Cherie Currie does not also feature that of Sandy West. On the DVD commentary, Jett unofficially dedicates the film to West, who died just before the film went into production.
Kristen Stewart had to wear sneakers during the recording studio fight because she kept slipping and falling in the platform boots she wears in the full body shots. The scene had to be specially edited because the sneakers were visible when she hopped on the furniture to yell at Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon).
Originally Scout Taylor-Compton had auditioned for the role of Joan Jett. In order to prepare for this role, Scout began to try and learn some of the Runaways songs on guitar. Then, she ended up trying out for Sandy West because she already knew how to play drums. Then, they wanted her to try for the role of Robin, so she had to try and learn how to play the bass guitar until finally, they ended up giving her the role of Lita Ford, where then she ended up having to learn how to play the guitar.
While filming this movie, Kristen Stewart cut her trademark long, full hair into an uneven 'shag' hairstyle. Photos of the hairstyle were released on June 11, 2009, garnering a great deal of media attention.
Though she declined to participate in the film, Lita Ford did agree to meet with Scout Taylor-Compton prior to filming. After a very emotional meeting, Ford gave her approval of the actress claiming that even if the film was bad, Taylor-Compton would do her character justice.
The film condenses the actual story of the band. In reality, The Runaways continued to perform successfully for another three years after Cherie Currie's departure. Moreover, Currie achieved moderate success as an actress and solo musician well into the 1980s before problems with substance abuse stalled her career.
In the scene where Joan Jett is being interviewed by Rodney Bingenheimer on the radio, Kristen Stewart is wearing a purple jacket similar to the one Jett wore on the cover of her 1981 album 'I Love Rock 'n Roll'.
A character mentions Elvis and Priscilla Presley's divorce as a sign of the decline of rock and roll. Cherie's sister Marie is played in this movie by Riley Keough, who is a granddaughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley.
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart said in the DVD commentary that the recording studio fight between them and Scout Taylor-Compton was one of the most exhausting and tense scenes to film. Fanning noted that the normal exhaustion of the actors fed into the intensity of the scene resulting in everyone just yelling at each other.
Each of the Currie sisters married someone in the entertainment field. Cherie married actor Robert Hays, Marie married musician Steve Lukather, and Sondra, a successful actress in her own right, is married to director/producer Alan J. Levi.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The scene where Kim Fowley brings the boys into the rehearsal trailer to heckle the girls and throw objects at them was 100% accurate. Joan Jett stated that Fowley had to do the "hecklers drills" with the group for a significant amount of time because she was too shy on stage.
The scene where Cherie (Dakota Fanning) is kicked out of the grocery store for trying to buy alcohol was filmed in a Kosher grocery store. The managers tried to kick the whole production out of the store and the actors and crew had to bargain with the managers to stay and complete the scene.