When questioned by the Los Angeles Times about why Warner Bros. believed that he's the right man to write and direct the film, Akiva Goldsman replied: "I'm the kind of romantic that likes to find the meaning in things. Just in its natural course, life is sufficiently hard. And if you can find the hope underneath that, that there is connectedness and some reason to it, then there's some comfort in that. That's what I've learned anyway. And I think that feeling is in the movie."
Rhythm and Hues, the visual effects company were hired to create the visual effects before it went bankrupt in 2013. Framestore, the special effects company was hired to complete the visual effects work.
When Isaac Penn's photo on the newspaper is first seen in a framed newspaper on the wall of his mansion in 1916, the framed newspaper next to it has the headline "Lusitania Sunk", which describes the sinking of the RMS Lusitania which happened a year before the scene takes place, in 1915.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The main part of the movie is set in 1916, but the book being read by the Judge/Lucifer (Will Smith) while he's relaxing on the couch is Stephen Hawking's, "A Brief History of Time" which won't be published until 1988. He is also wearing a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. However, as Lucifer speaks about how his past, present, and future is all now, having these out of time items may be part of the concept.
When the family is at The Coheeries (in 1916), the nanny says they have been instructed to go next door to the Gamelys for a peppermint, during the boiler scene. Gamely is also Virginia's last name (in 2014).