The car crash during the climactic chase scene was unplanned; the plan was for the car to duck behind the oncoming bus and complete the left turn. When the collision occurred, the car trunk sprung open, revealing the bright blue sandbags that had been placed there to allow certain stunts. The quick cuts following the collision are necessary to avoid showing the sandbags. Subsequent shots including the car had already been filmed, and show a markedly less-damaged car.
The script for this film, written by Ehren Kruger, was discovered when it won the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting competition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is only the sixth winner of the competition to actually be produced.
Michael Faraday, Jeff Bridges' character, was also the name of a real-life chemist and physicist who did pioneering work in the field of electromagnetism. Michael Faraday is also the name of a street in Reston, Virginia, in which the film takes place. Faraway made a cage of copper, Faraday cage, it cuts off electronic signals
The main character in the movie Red Nightmare (1962) lives at Arlington Road. This anti-communist short movie is about Soviets infiltrating America. Everybody seems to be plotting against the main character.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
An alternate ending featured a scene in which Grant Faraday figures out his father's fate based on Oliver Lang's strange behavior toward him. It was cut for time. Due to the ambiguity it caused, they remained with the original ending as shown in the movie.
The second "Mad Bomber" movie with Jeff Bridges; the first was Blown Away (1994), opposite Tommy Lee Jones. In both movies Bridges plays a terrorism expert who gets into a fight with the antagonist, and then has to find and stop the bomb. In "Blown Away" he fights the antagonist, who dies in an explosion in his hideout, and Bridges stops the bomb and saves the day. In this film he fights the antagonist but doesn't kill him. He thinks that the bomb is in a van along with his kidnapped kid, but instead it's in the car that he drives into the FBI parking garage. The antagonists succeed.
After the bomb goes off at the end of the movie, a cinema is visible, showing the movie Dirty Work (1998). In that film, two men open a revenge-for-hire business, doing other people's dirty work. At the end of this film, Faraday unwittingly does Lang's "dirty work" by planting the bomb for him.