- The Cast Showoff: Raúl Juliá was a talented singer (having appeared in such musicals as Nine (Musical) and The Threepenny Opera), and sings a couple of Spanish songs here.
- Executive Meddling: Robert Towne wanted Dale McKussic to go up in smoke at the end of the film, but one of the conditions Warner Brothers set, was that he must live. "Gibson's character was supposed to be a moth in the flame," said Towne. "The real high for him was never doing the drugs, but the danger of dealing the drugs."
- Hostility on the Set: Michelle Pfeiffer reportedly did not get along with Robert Towne. He called her "the most difficult actress I have ever worked with." This was most likely due to Towne's reputed perfectionism, and the fact that Pfeiffer was going through a divorce.
- Reality Subtext: Robert Towne was originally supposed to direct the sequel to Chinatown, The Two Jakes, as well as write it, but he had a falling out with Jack Nicholson, who ended up directing it (though they have since reconciled), so the screenplay has a lot of his feelings about friendship at the time; in addition to the speech Carlos gives to Mac at the end (see What the Hell, Hero? on the main page), there's also this speech by Mac's cousin halfway through the film:Greg: I don't know what it is about going to high school with someone that makes you feel you're automatically friends for life. Who says? Who says friendship lasts forever? We'd all like it to, maybe. But maybe...it just wears out like everything else - like tires. There's just so much mileage in them, and then you're riding around on nothing but air.
- Also, Towne wanted to be a writer-director rather than just a writer for hire, and the speech Mac gives to Joanne at the top of the main film page comes from that.
- Technology Marches On: Though nowadays, Mac might still call Carlos from a payphone to avoid being traced, he wouldn't have to use one all those other times.
- What Could Have Been:
- Towne originally wanted then-L.A. Lakers coach Pat Riley as Nick, and Kurt Russell even modeled his look on Riley.
- At one point, Towne considered Warren Beatty and Scott Glenn for the lead roles.
- At another stage, the film was going to star Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte.
- According to Thom Mount, Alec Baldwin was the original choice to play Nick Frescia, and had actually come back twice to audition for the role, but Robert Towne and Mount decided to go in another direction.
- Harrison Ford was interested in the script and agreed to play Dale McKussic, but eventually he out in pre-production, because of personal conflicts with the role.
Trivia / Tequila Sunrise