The book is known as Sie (meaning She) in German, presumably in imitation of It. Also apt as Paul compares Annie to an African idol in H. Rider Haggard's novel She (published as Sie in Germany).
In Brazil, it was the more indicative Louca Obsessão ("Mad Obsession"). Portugal went for The Foreign Subtitle (Misery - The Final Chapter) as did Italy in a way (Misery must not die).
Creator Breakdown: Stephen King confirmed that the story is about his battle with substance abuse and that Annie is a representation of his dependency on drugs and what it did to his body, making him feel alone and separated from everything while hobbling any attempts he made at escape.
Creator's Favorite: Annie Wilkes is Stephen King's favorite written character because she was always surprising to write, with unexpected depth and sympathy.
In 1991, Beverley Allitt, an English nurse, committed four murders in a children's ward. The fact that she looks a bit like Annie makes it even scarier.
Annie breaking Paul's legs gets even more horrifying given then—13-year-old Thad Phillip's 1995 ordeal at the hands of Joe Clark—kidnapped and held prisoner for 43 hours while Clark broke the bones in his legs. Phillips finally escaped by throwing himself down the stairs and dragging himself to a phone, by which point he was within two hours of death from internal bleeding. He survived, but needed numerous surgeries and walks with a limp to this day. note And he was the lucky one—Clark murdered two other boys in this manner
Orphaned Reference: At one point, Paul and Annie have a conversation where it's established that Annie knows how to bind books. This may seem random, but it was originally meant to foreshadow the planned original ending where Annie uses Paul's skin to bind the completed manuscript of Misery's Return.
Referenced by...: In the Prudence Penderhaus novel 17 Marigold Lane, Prudence is sneaking through the Shoosters' house, trying to find where Cassius is being held, when she remembers that Annie Wilkes had a secret cellar door. Sure enough, the Shoosters also have a hidden door in the wall that leads to the Creepy Basement where Cassius is.
Shout-Out: To King's The Shining. Though never mentioned by name, Annie makes a clear reference to the Overlook Hotel and Jack Torrance, stating that one of her victims was in Colorado to make sketches of the ruins of an old hotel that had been burned down by the caretaker, who had gone insane.
In his book "On Writing" King admits that when he first started writing Misery, he expected that it would end with Annie murdering Paul and using his skin to bind the completed manuscript of Misery's Return and feeding his remains to her pig. This was also because he'd envisioned it as a short story or novella; as it bloomed into a full novel he decided there was no way people could accept spending all that time with someone going through hell and then not seeing him finally come out on top. note This would explain the random conversation Paul and Annie have at one point regarding Annie knowing how to bind books herself.
King originally was going to title the book, "The Annie Wilkes Edition".
Misery was to be published under King's penname of Richard Bachman, but the Bachman persona was publicly outed before the book could be published. King felt that Misery might have been the book that made Bachman into a bestseller in his own right, which was part of King's reasoning for creating the Bachman name to begin with.
James Caan and Kathy Bates didn't get along while filming, making the characters' growing friction between one another feel all the more authentic,
According to Bates, Caan was naturally quite athletic and hated having to sit still for long periods of time. His character's growing frustration about having to remain bedridden is very much Caan's own.
Focus Group Ending: Focus groups were extremely unhappy with Paul walking normally at the end of the film, so the ending was re-shot with Paul needing a cane to walk. Perhaps not ironically, this brought the film closer to the book's original ending, where Paul requires a prosthetic foot, months of physical therapy, and a cane for mobility.
Hostility on the Set: James Caan and Kathy Bates clashed over their acting methods. Caan believed in as little rehearsal as possible. Bates, with her theater background, was used to practicing a lot. When she commented to Rob Reiner that Caan was not attempting to relate or listen to her, Reiner told her to use that frustration toward her character.
Reality Subtext: Kathy Bates found herself butting heads with James Caan quite a bit, which of course reflects the characters' adversarial relationship. Rob Reiner even advised Bates to channel her frustration with Caan into her performance.
Word of God: Used to giving her characters rich backgrounds to help her find her voice, Kathy Bates and Rob Reiner agreed that Annie was molested by her father as a child. It helped explain for Bates why Annie had a history, as explained in the book and in the movie, of killing infants and old people in her nursing care.