In the Tangier chase scene, Nicky (Julia Stiles) and Desh (Joey Ansah) are seen pushing past the citizens. These are not extras; Tangier was too crowded and the flow of the people was hard to control, hence the two are genuinely pushing through the crowd.
When they were shooting in Tangiers, it was in the middle of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, where no Muslim can eat or drink during the daylight hours. Interviews in the bonus material reveal that several of the crew members were Muslims, and found it exhausting to do the movie while being unable to eat or drink. Matt Damon comments on how he would see them look "longingly at a cup of coffee or a sandwich". To accommodate these crew members, the remaining members of the crew tried to discreetly eat and drink.
As in the previous films, the type of martial arts used by Jason Bourne is a combination of Filpino Kali with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. The character of Desh uses the same combination, as well as some moves from the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.
Since the opening scene of the film takes place directly after the ending of The Bourne Supremacy (2004), but the production gap was several months, it was now January in Moscow. This would have been too cold, and so Berlin was chosen as the location of the shoot, with a Moscow set being created. The fake snow was made using paper and foam, and took in excess of five hours to cover the entire set. Paper and foam were used instead of real snow so there was no risk of melting.
The end title music for The Bourne Identity (2002) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004) uses the same recording of "Extreme Ways" by Moby. This film uses a new performance of the same song, with a distinctly different mix, called "Extreme Ways (Bourne's Ultimatum)".
While filming in Tangiers, the crew had to close down the busiest square in the city for several hours while shooting. In the bonus material, you can see a crowd of slightly irritated looking locals who had no warning that the closure would take place.
As shown to Pam Landy on a computer screen, Jason Bourne enters New York City as Gilberto de Piento from Brazil. The identity's passport is briefly shown in The Bourne Identity (2002) during Jason's exploration of the deposit box in Zürich. But the spelling there is Gilberto do Piento. Furthermore, in The Bourne Identity (2002), this name appears not as one of Bourne's alternate names, but as the name of the Brazilian Federal Police Chief who signed the passport. In that old Brazilian passport, in the 2002 film, Bourne's name appears on another page, and is actually listed as João do Carmo.
Voted as Movie of the Year 2007 by Empire Magazine. It is Paul Greengrass's second work in two consecutive years to be voted Movie of the Year by Empire. His previous film, United 93 (2006) was voted as Movie of the Year 2006.
In the first three Bourne films, there is only one explosion scene. In The Bourne Identity (2002), Bourne blows up a gas tank to distract The Professor when he tries to kill Bourne. In The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Bourne breaks a gas line and burns a magazine in a toaster to blow up Jarda's house after he calls for C.I.A. backup. In this film, Desh kills Daniels by blowing up his car which almost kills Bourne. There is another minor explosion in the chase scene where Jason Bourne is chasing Desh and Nicky. He throws an aerosol can into a fire to create a distraction.
During the filming of the London scenes, Matt Damon also shot a scene for the movie Ocean's Thirteen (2007). It is the scene where Damon's character is walking down a street discussing the target casino's security.
In the C.I.A. substation, where an operative intercepts Simon Ross' call using Echelon, the numbers given on the screen are various locations in the UK. One number is 020 7946 0621 and various others. These are fake numbers used by television and theatre companies to add more realistic drama to films not unlike the "555" system used in the U.S. Also on the screen is the dialing code for Reading, and the 01632 which is fictional (U.S. "555" equivalent).
When the C.I.A. hacks into Simon Ross' Guardian e-mail, finding a round-trip ticket to Turin, the e-mail is presented as being sent from firstname.lastname@example.org - Adrian Spanna worked as a Second Unit Video Assist Operator on the film.
Tony Gilroy, the main screenwriter of the earlier Bourne films, was hired by the studio to write a draft of the script to The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Universal greenlit the film based on the draft, but Gilroy didn't do any revisions or re-writes because he was committed to his directing debut, Michael Clayton (2007). In 2011, Matt Damon accused Gilroy of writing a quick draft for money and then leaving the project in turmoil. Damon called the original draft "unreadable" and a potential "career ender" for Gilroy, also saying that Gilroy arbitrated to get sole screenwriting credit before the movie came out (the Writers Guild of America turned the request down). Later Damon said it was "idiotic" for him to "blurt out" anything about the subject, since it was between him and Gilroy (either they figure it out, or won't). In 2012, Gilroy said that he and Damon haven't spoken to each other "in years", although Gilroy later co-wrote The Great Wall (2016), which starred Damon.
Edgar Ramírez, who played an assassin in this film, also played Ilich Ramirez SanchezCarlos (2010) in the mini-series Carlos (2010). Carlos "The Jackal" was the main antagonist in the Bourne trilogy written by Robert Ludlum, albeit a bit different from the mini-series counterpart.
Tomas Arana, one of the actors from the previous film, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) mysteriously doesn't reprise his role as C.I.A. Director Marshall for this film. Instead, he was replaced by Scott Glenn, who plays the new C.I.A. Director Ezra Kramer.
The Bourne film franchise has many similarities to the Terminator franchise: it had three different directors, there were five movies, the main actor in the first three didn't appear in the fourth one, and only one won any Oscars, while the other four weren't even nominated. The supporting actress and actor from the Bourne and Terminator movies (Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons and Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman respectively) are the only actress and actor who appear on the first three films with the main actor.
A copy of former United States President Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life", is visible on a shelf in Vosen's office. A copy of Nelson Mandela's autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom", is visible above Clinton's.
Bourne's arsenal (in order) consists of a Dual Tone SIG Pro SP2022 he used in the bathroom at the beginning of the movie, a Black SIG Pro he took off of the C.I.A. Agents in the Madrid Office, a Beretta 92FS he took off a Tangiers police officer, a Black Glock 17 he procured mysteriously in the parking lot near the C.I.A. building in New York City, which in turn, ended in another mystery as he procured another SIG Pro during his questioning of Dr. Albert Hirsch.
Nicky is actually a somewhat trained field agent with various martial art skills(Judo, Jiu Jitsu) and some firearms training. This can be seen when her and borns profile are shown on a screen before being sent to Desh. This makes her attack on Desh seem a bit strange, given that she just seems to attack him with desperation and not using her actual skills.
Writing credits in early promotional material read: "Screen Story and Screenplay by Tony Gilroy, but Gilroy later retained sole screen story credit and received shared screenplay credit with Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi following an arbitration conducted by the Writers Guild of America.
After the report from the assassin, when Landy check Bourne's file his birthday is clearly visible. This becomes important as the story progresses, as does information on the Treadstone document she views after the Hirsch document. Both relate to a scene in The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The production devoted six weeks to filming the climactic car chase in lower Manhattan. In the sequence all vehicles are being operated at no more than thirty-five miles per hour because the New York Police Department would not allow greater speed, due to concern for public safety.
Operation Blackbriar, the focal point of the film, was introduced in The Bourne Identity (2002). Near the end of that film, Abbott is before a U.S. Congressional review board and explains Treadstone was a failure; then he closes a file and discusses Operation Blackbriar.
Paz, the last "operator" who's hunting Bourne, declines to shoot him (after listening to Bourne's line "Look at us. Look at what they make you give."). The Spanish meaning of the related name "Paz" is "Peace".