- Box Office Bomb: Budget, $20 million (not counting marketing costs), $25 million (counting them). Box office, $11.1 million.
- Dueling Movies: With The Golden Child. Funnily enough, John Carpenter was originally set to direct that film. James Hong and Victor Wong also appear in it.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Kurt Russell lifted weights and began running two months before production began to prepare for the physical demands of principal photography. In addition, John Carpenter and his cast and crew did a week's rehearsals that mainly involved choreographing the martial arts scenes
- Enforced Method Acting: In the wedding Scene where Lo Pan is putting the Needle of Love in Miao Yin, James Hong actually jabbed Suzee Pai too hard. You can see her flinch as he puts it in her.
- Executive Meddling: The first scene was added later at the insistence of Studio Executives who just didn't get the Supporting Protagonist story line. This may explain why it doesn't really fit with the way the movie ends.
- Fake American: Kim Cattrall (English-Canadian) as Gracie Law (American).
- Inspiration for the Work: Co-writer Gary Goldman had been inspired by a new wave of martial arts films that had "all sorts of weird actions and special effects, shot against this background of Oriental mysticism and modern sensibilities".
- W.D. Richter used Rosemary's Baby as his template, presenting "the foreground story in a familiar context rather than San Francisco at the turn-of-the-century, which distances the audience immediately and just have one simple remove, the world underground, you have a much better chance of making direct contact with the audience".
- Mid-Development Genre Shift: The film was originally a western, with Jack Burton as a cowboy aiming to retrieve his horse.
- Screwed By The Studio: 20th Century Fox barely gave the film any promotion despite positive test screenings and released it opposite Aliens.
- Stillborn Franchise: There were plans for a sequel that were scrapped when the film bombed.
- Throw It In!: James Hong improvised the line, "This really pisses me off to no end".
- What Could Have Been:
- John Carpenter wanted Jackie Chan for Wang Chi, but the producer felt that he lacked box-office draw and his English wasn't up to scratch. Carpenter insisted after seeing Police Story, but Chan declined.
- Although Kurt Russell was Carpenter's only choice for Jack Burton, the studio suggested Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood. Once they proved unavailable, Carpenter was able to cast Russell. Jeff Bridges was also considered.
Trivia / Big Trouble in Little China