Dolph Lundgren agreed to film the movie under the condition that he be given time to test for his third degree black belt in karate beforehand. Knowing that this would ensure his star arrive on the set in peak physical condition, director Isaac Florentine was happy to oblige.
The script filmed is different from the one that the director and star agreed on when they signed on the project. Clint Lien had been asked by Nu Image to rewrite Carlton Holder's original screenplay, and the cast were not alerted to this until they arrived in Bulgaria to film.
Director Isaac Florentine and Dolph Lundgren had met each other approximately twenty years prior to the film's production, when Florentine traveled to Stockholm to study karate and they were introduced through their respective masters.
Isaac Florentine became involved with the project when Dolph Lundgren expressed frustration with his previous project, Sweepers (1998), and stated that he wanted his next feature to be directed by someone with experience in action movies. Producer Yoram Barzilai suggested Florentine.