Paul Haggis holds the distinction of being the only person ever to write the screenplay for two consecutive Best Picture winners. He also wrote the previous year's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby (2004).
For the scene in which Daniel is trying to convince his daughter to get out from under the bed, director Paul Haggis directed Michael Peña, who plays Daniel, to talk to her like he would talk to a guy in a bar.
Two Koreans were intentionally cast as the "Chinese" couple to underscore the fact that most non-Asians cannot, or do not care to, differentiate between the various Asian nationalities, and instead choose to refer to all of them (Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, etc.) as "Chinese," like the characters in the movie do.
Director Paul Haggis had wanted Christine to drive a Lexus SUV or a similar car that reflected her social status. However, since the car was to be destroyed during the accident scene, budget restrictions dictated otherwise and a 1992 Jeep was used instead.
Before Ryan Phillippe signed on, Heath Ledger was in talks for the role of Hansen. Ironically, Ledger starred in Brokeback Mountain (2005), the film that lost the Best Picture Oscar to Crash (2004) in a controversial decision.
Although originally released in 2004, the film did not qualify for the following year's Academy Awards as it did not play at least one week in Los Angeles (as Academy Awards rules require for eligibility). When it was finally released in L.A. the following year, the film qualified for Oscar consideration for 2005, and it went on to win the Best Picture Oscar for that year.
The ethereal female singing that is featured in the original score was written and composed by St. Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th Century nun. A mystic, artist, healer and abbess who advised popes, her music was revolutionary, influencing the development of Western ecclesiastical music through the Reformation.
In the years following the release of Crash (2004), director Paul Haggis admitted that his film did not deserve to win the Academy Award for Best Picture over the much-acclaimed and respected Brokeback Mountain (2005).
The only Best Picture winner initially released before the previous year's Best Picture (Million Dollar Baby (2004), the 2005 Best Picture, was released on December 15, 2004, and this film, the 2006 Best Picture, was released on September 10, 2004).
The last film to win Best Picture without winning Best Director until Argo (2012) in 2013. In both ceremonies, Ang Lee won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life of Pi (2012), respectively. In addition, both Crash (2004) and Argo (2012) won the same number (three each) and type of awards: Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Original for Crash (2004) and Adapted for Argo (2012)), and Best Film Editing.
In the recent awards tradition, usually the movie that wins the Golden Globe as Best Picture (Drama or Comedy/Musical) ends up winning the Best Picture Oscar. This movie succeeded in winning the latter without getting a nomination as Best Picture Drama at the Globes, a rare instance. As of 2016, it remains the last film to achieve such fate.
This movie was particularly controversial when it won the Oscar for Best Picture over the more critically-favored Brokeback Mountain (2005). The Academy was accused of homophobia, especially because 'Crash' won the award without being nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.
Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain (2005), wrote a strong polemic against this movie in the British newspaper "The Guardian," venting her disgust and disappointment that her film was beaten by Paul Haggis' at the Oscars, one of the Academy's more controversial decisions in years.
Is one of only two movies (the other being The Sting (1973)) to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without having been nominated for any of the three Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture (Best Drama, Best Comedy/Musical and Best Foreign Film).
Michael Peña, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, and Shaun Toub all have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the latter two appearing in Iron Man (2008), but again had no scenes together. Don Cheadle replaced Howard in Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013), with the latter featuring a cameo by Toub. Peña appeared in Ant-Man (2015) as Luis.
A few years after the release of Crash (2004), The Hollywood Reporter polled hundreds of voters in the Academy on what votes they would recast if given the chance; Brokeback Mountain (2005) received more votes than this film.