Shane Black became the first writer to sell a script for four million dollars. He later admitted that this caused a lot of envy among his fellow screenwriters, as well as accusations of commercialism. He voluntarily retired from the blockbuster industry for almost a decade as a result.
One of the movie's original locations was a historic, grand hotel in Muskoka, Ontario, the one hundred-year-old Windermere House. During filming, however, the hotel caught fire and burned to the ground. The heat from the film lights were initially blamed for causing the blaze, but it was never proven that the lights started the fire.
This film and Cutthroat Island (1995) were attempts by Director Renny Harlin and his then-wife, Geena Davis, to not only further her career, but to generate more public interest in female action stars.
The ice skating scene was scripted to end with Samantha performing a double axel flip and simultaneously firing over her upside-down head. After two aerial-rig configurations (in sub-zero conditions) and several attempts at greenscreening failed to hold any convincing fluency to the action, it was dropped from the final cut of the film.
Screenwriter Shane Black sold the script for the movie with the intention of Renny Harlin directing it and Geena Davis starring in it. Harlin then told him that he and Davis were contractually bound to make Cutthroat Island (1995) first, which became one of the biggest box-office bombs of the decade. Black later stated that this may have caused bad advertisement that worked against this movie as well.
"RFK 575" is the license plate used in the film for the dead terrorist's car. It's also the license plate used by Derek Zoolander's roommate in Zoolander (2001) and on a car in Final Destination (2000).
The resort Windemere House in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada burned down while filming scenes there. The production company had to re-work the scenes in Collingwood, Ontario. Windemere House has since been rebuilt.
The film is famous for being one of the three big-budget films that came out of indie studio New Line Cinema in 1996, and underperformed. The other two were The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) and Last Man Standing (1996). Up until their releases, New Line Cinema had specialized in low-to-medium-budgeted genre pictures.
Shane Black's original script for this film was darker and more graphic than the final film. Amongst the many differences, it included some alternate action sequences, and more violence, like the scene where Mitch and Charly are captured and get tortured. Both characters also had bigger backstories in the original script, Mitch, at one point, tells Charly how he was gang raped in prison, and how his wife refuses to let him see his son, because of what happened to him, and Charly also had more of a dark backstory in the script, than in the film.
Female rapper and Murder, Inc. recording artist Tiffany Lane, uses the name Charli Baltimore as her moniker. Lane was a lover of famous New York rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who had recorded a song called "Long Kiss Goodnight" for his 1997 album "Life After Death".
When Mitch and Trin pull their scam on the "Man in bed", Mitch and two other actors pretend to be police detectives. Ironically, the room was full of people who have portrayed cops in popular movies and television shows. Rex Linn (man in bed) portrayed a Detective on CSI: Miami (2002), Melina Kanakaredes (Trin) portrayed a detective on CSI: NY (2004), Shawn Doyle (Bum Cop) portrayed a detective in the movie Frequency (2000), and Samuel L. Jackson (Mitch) portrayed a cop in the movie The Negotiator (1998).
WRITER TRADEMARK: (Shane Black): (disarmed gunman): While being held at gunpoint, Charly disarms the gunman when he is distracted. Black's screenplays often contain scenes where the hero is able to surprise a gunman who makes a fatal mistake, like in The Last Boy Scout (1991) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).
According to the C.I.A. personnel file shown during the opening credits, Charlene Baltimore was born in New York City, is six feet tall, and her Social Security number is 079-48-6884. What appears to be a date of birth is mostly obscured, but the year 62 (for 1962) is visible. Geena Davis was born in January 1956.
One scene is clearly shot in Toronto,Ontario, not the U.S. This is at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor Streets. The Honest Ed's storefront is clearly visible. Honest Ed's is a well-known store, owned by businessman Ed Mirvish.
In the scene where Charly (Geena Davis) is supposed to be killed by One-Eyed Jack (Joseph McKenna), you can see in the background a Mercedes Benz W 111 Hardtop Coupé, according to a shortly seen chrome blink on the right side of the trunk lid probably a 280 SEb 3.5 liter V8.