Speaking of of Downton Abbey, the Minister of Defence who debates with M in the beginning of the film is played by Julian Fellowes, the creator/writer of the show (as well as the writer of Gosford Park).
Sergeant Apone is instructing Bond on how to do a HALO jump without getting killed.
Gotz Otto, who plays Mr. Stamper, was in the Christopher Lambert version of Beowulf.
In Memoriam: Dedicated to longtime producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli.
Reality Subtext: In the novelization, Jack Wade asks Bond about Natalya, to which Bond replies that she's now married to a hockey player. Izabella Scorupco really did marry pro hockey player Mariusz Czerkawski in 1996.
Real Life Writes the Plot: The plot was supposed to be about the reunification of Hong Kong and China, but someone realised they wouldn't be able to get the film done in time, resulting in rewrites that caused the last act to be all action and barely any plot.
Serendipity Writes the Plot: The original title was Tomorrow Never Lies, the proposed Tag Line of Carver's newspaper Tomorrow. A mis-spelled fax lead to the one the filmmakers eventually used.
Technology Marches On: Notice when Carver lists off all the assets of his media empire: TV, news, radio, magazines. The Internet isn't mentioned at all.
Truth in Television: If you thought a media company wouldn't really engineer a war for ratings, you'd actually be wrong. Back in The Sixties, CBS subsidized a planned mercenary coup of Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier for the purpose of shooting a television documentary. The FBI foiled the invasion plot, and CBS was chewed out by the FCC and the House Commerce Committee over the incident.
The writers originally wanted to base a story off of Hong Kong's turnover from British to Chinese control. But since the event happened (1 July 1997) too soon for them to finish the movie, and it happened without a hitch, they decided not to trivialise it or appear irrelevant. This plot was instead the basis for the Raymond Benson James Bond novel Zero Minus Ten.
There were three songs wrote up for the main theme. Two of them made it into the film as the main and credits music, respectively; the third, also titled "Tomorrow Never Dies" by Danish band Swan Lee, was later used for Hitman: Blood Money. It's the song which plays during the game's credits, and also sung (badly) by the Ax-Crazy female assassin in the "Heaven and Hell" level. Pulp also wrote a proposed theme (which had the film's original title, "Tomorrow Never Lies"), later issued as a b-side. Saint Etienne also wrote a version.
The film was originally to be titled Tomorrow Never Lies, which makes more sense than the final title, what with the plot involving Carver creating the next day's headlines in advance before causing those events to happen. However, it was changed due to a typo, oddly enough.