According to Kevin Dunn, the fact that Gary Sinise's character was named "Kevin Dunne" caused confusion between the two actors. According to Dunn, much to his surprise, he was given a penthouse suite in a fancy hotel to stay in during filming. The crew realized that they had accidentally given Sinise's suite to Dunn. Dunn had to leave and stayed at a hotel chain.
The original ending, which was a massive special effects sequence created by Industrial Light and Magic, involved a huge tidal wave going through the casino. This ending was cut out in post-production. Numerous references to it still remain in the final film: a shot near the end of the film shows an ambulance driving down an ocean-side road with a wave about to crash into it before the film cuts to another shot; Nicolas Cage's character talks about almost drowning at the very end of the film; references to a storm are made throughout the entire film, which were all meant to build up to the action-packed climax that was cut out.
Opening sequence includes 8 cuts: First take - 2'19" 0'18" TV screen - 2'37" Rick Santoro by the monitors Second take - 2'41" 2'37" Rick starts to walk - 4'18" - Rick follows Cyrus Third take - 1'43" 4'18" Rick on the stairs - 6'01" - Rick shouts "Go Tyler! Go Tyler!" Fourth take - 1'02" 6'01" Rick enters Arena - 7'03" - Rick meets Kevin Fifth take - 2'47" 7'03" Rick starts to talk with Kevin - 9'49" Kevin looks on redhead woman Sixth take - 2'22" 9'49" Redhead on the Arena - 12'11" Blonde talks to Kirkland Seventh take - 0'18" 12'11" Rick watching the fight - 12'29" "Here comes the Pain!!" Eighth take - 0'21" 12'29" Rick watching the fight - 12'50" Rick answers the phone from a girl with number "7"
Will Smith turned down the role of Commander Kevin Dunne to star in another conspiracy thriller that was also released that year Enemy of the State (1998) which Smith starred as a lawyer whom finds himself hunted by NSA agents when he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy when he falls into possession of videotape containing footage of the assassination of a politician whom refused to support the Telecommunications Security and Privacy act.
Gary Sinise plays Naval Commander Kevin Dunne, who is attempting to get the Navy to pick up a new weapons system. Actor Kevin Dunn, who plays the PPV announcer, was in the movie Hot Shots! (1991) playing a Naval Commander attempting to get the Navy to pick up a new superfighter.
The song in the end credits is "Sin City" by Meredith Brooks. It foreshadows Carla Gugino whom plays Julia Costello in this film, starring in Frank Miller's Sin City (2005) as Lucille, several years later.
When Commander Dunne (A naval officer) shows Santoro the tracking device. Santoro calls Dunne "007". An obvious nod to James Bond. In the James Bond spy novels by Ian Fleming, James Bond was a Commander in the British navy before becoming a spy.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Dunne tells Santoro that the press will start digging up dirt on him and that he will lose his job, his wife, his girlfriend and that he should start thinking about jail, foreshadowing what was going to happen to Santoro at the end of the movie.
There are similarities between this movie and Mission Impossible since both movies are directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Koepp. The similarities are the villains in the films, Kevin Dunne and Jim Phelps are involved in a conspiracy and they betray and set up their friends Rick Santoro and Ethan Hunt who find out the shocking truth of the conspiracy and who are the heroes of the story. Both of them get knocked out in a fight by their friends and get back up. The outcome of the endings are Kevin Dunne commits suicide after being caught by the cops red handed trying to murder a whistle blower and Santoro stops him. Santoro is declared a hero but has a downfall with his police corruption and goes to jail. And jim phelps in mission impossible gets blown up along with his getaway helicopter and ethan hunt is cleared and goes back to work in IMF.