The movie was originally planned to be shot on video as a low-budget feature for $200,000, in an abandoned paper mill with unknown actors until Impact Pictures read the script and showed interest. Writer Travis Milloy never thought it would be considered as a studio production because of its dark tone.
The name of the ship, 'Elysium', means a place or state of perfect happiness. In Greek mythology, the preferred heroes of the gods were transported to Elysium, their final resting place at the ends of the Earth. This is a figurative interpretation of the journey to Tanis, the Earth-like planet considered to be the paradise for the "chosen".
Travis Milloy wrote a preliminary script which was set on a prison ship. The characters Nadia and Manh were inmates. Bower was a non-prisoner, who didn't trust anyone. The producers gave the script to director Christian Alvart, who was shocked by the similarities to his own screenplay titled 'No Where.' His dramatic story was about 4 astronauts aboard a 'settlers' ship,' who suffer from amnesia. Alvart decided they should weld the 2 screenplays together, and the producers and Milloy agreed.
Pandorum supposedly refers to Orbital Dysfunctional Syndrome. It is a psychotic break which takes place amongst ship's captains when they become convinced a mission is cursed, essentially a descent into madness brought on by the pressures of life in space impinging on an individual's sense of paranoia. This is a completely fictional condition.
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Christian Alvart): [mirror shot]: When we see Bower (Ben Foster) 'laser shaving,' in the beginning, he's reflected by 3 mirrors, effectively showing him 4 times from all angles (as well as the shaving effect).
The sixth film released in select D-BOX enabled cinemas, located in the US and Canada. In D-BOX's words, the motion control technology "adds to the movie's plot and underlying themes of fear, terror and explosive action by offering realistic sensations during most of the film's action scenes."
The Australian rock band Pandorum chose the name of their band after seeing the film. They liked the meaning behind the term, thinking there is nothing left, thinking you can't be saved causing insanity, finding yourself in a state of Pandorum,