According to the script, Eve is two thousand years old, and was the druid matriarch of a Celtic tribe. Adam is five hundred to six hundred years old. Jim Jarmusch decided that Adam and Eve would be aware of each other's true age, so he argued they have no reason to state it in the film, but simply informed the cast members of the age of the characters. In an extended version of the nude scene, shown in the DVD special features, Adam and Eve do talk about her druidic connections.
The white dwarf, Eve (Tilda Swinton) mentions to Adam (Tom Hiddleston) while driving across the city, is the star called BPM 37093, also known as Lucy (named after The Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds). Its nucleus is cooling down, which makes its core pulsate like a giant gong.
Contrary to most viewers' assumption, Writer and Director Jim Jarmusch did not name the two main characters directly after Adam and Eve from the Bible. Rather, he was referring to Mark Twain's satirical work "The Diaries of Adam and Eve", which has rarely been published in its complete form. Jarmusch told a Hollywood Reporter interviewer that "It wasn't until shooting the film, that I realized everyone's first impression will be the Biblical reference. Whoops. It's too late now. What can I do?" Twain's is one of the faces visible on Adam's wall of framed portraits in the movie.
Eve books a flight for Adam and her under the names "Daisy Buchanan" and "Stephen Dedalus", main characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", respectively. Stephen Dedalus also appeared as the sidekick in Joyce's "Ulysses". In Joyce's final novel "Finnegans Wake", there is a famous recurring poem with the line "riverrun past Eve and Adam".
There's a bar in Delray, Michigan (Detroit) where they filmed some outside shots. The bar was called "Ideal", and had been closed since 1986. The old man who owned the bar, had to purchase the house next door, in order to have access to the cement stairway between the buildings, to get to the outside basement level of the bar. The old man told everyone on the cast and crew who would listen, how it took him so long to purchase the bar, and to talk the old lady that owned the house to sell to him, although he didn't want the house (he only wanted the cement staircase that led to the basement level). Shortly after filming at the bar (which took place in late July 2012) the old man torched the house next door for the insurance money.
Christopher Marlowe (Sir John Hurt) mentions writing Hamlet, and ghostwriting for William Shakespeare to have an outlet for his work. The real Marlowe died under mysterious circumstances at the age of twenty-nine, a few weeks before the publication of Shakespeare's first known play. The Marlowian theory, which is considered fringe by a vast majority of scholars, suggests that he faked his death, and adopted the nom de plume "William Shakespeare".
Although Jim Jarmusch wanted to shoot this movie on film, and has a general distaste for digital cinematography, he had to use the Arri Alexa for budgetary reasons. He managed to work with low lighting and specific lenses in order to come up with a look he found acceptable enough to work for him.
The film shares its title with a 1964 Dave Wallis science fiction novel, which was considered as a film project for The Rolling Stones, and would have been directed by Nicholas Ray, who mentored Jim Jarmusch in the 1970s, when he was a graduate student at New York University.
The bar, where White Hills plays, is on Jefferson Avenue, just southwest of Dearborn Street in Delray, one of the most devastated areas of Detroit, Michigan. It was a functioning bar called "Ideal" until 1986 when it closed. It was built in Art Deco style. The Zug Island steel mill can be seen behind the bar to the right, in the exterior shot.
Byron and Percy Shelley are mentioned as former companions of the vampire Adam. In the film "Frankenstein Unbound," co-star John Hurt plays a scientist who goes back in time and meets both poets - as well as Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Creature.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Christopher Marlowe (Sir John Hurt) and Ian (Anton Yelchin) are the only main characters to die. Coincidentally, their respective actors, Sir John Hurt and Anton Yelchin were the first, and as of 2017 the only, cast members to die. Hurt passed away of cancer in January 2017, and Yelchin died in a freak car accident in June 2016.