- Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Donald Sutherland's been to Venice.
- Actor-Inspired Element: Edward Norton chose his wardrobe to make his character a little quirky.
- Contractual Obligation Project: Edward Norton made it clear that his participation is a result of contractual obligation, not choice. He signed a three movie deal with Paramount, of which Primal Fear, his breakthrough movie, was the first. He kept dismissing scripts for the other two, until Paramount coerced him into accepting a role in this film. Norton did not hide his misery on the set, clashing with the crew throughout it, and when the producer handed out gifts to the cast over the movie's surprisingly strong box office performance, Norton returned the gift with a note stating "Give this to someone you actually like—or someone who actually likes you."
- Development Hell: The planned sequel, The Brazilian Job. It was first announced in 2004 and spent six years in limbo before Seth Green eventually confirmed in 2010 that the film is a no go; apparently its script was repurposed into Fast Five.
- Hostility on the Set: Norton, already in a sour mood over having to do the movie on the cheap due to his contractual obligations, clashed with director Gary Gray, whom he had a low opinion of, to an even greater extent than he usually does.
- Missing Trailer Scene: While Charlie Croker's line: "You ready to create the biggest traffic jam in the history of Los Angeles?" appears in the trailer, it doesn't appear in the theatrical release.
- Money, Dear Boy: Edward Norton made no secret he was forced to do this film as a contractual requirement with Paramount. He had signed a three-film deal with them, the first of which was Primal Fear, but kept passing on scripts for the other two films until Paramount basically threatened to sue him unless he fulfilled his obligation to the studio. Accordingly, he refused to promote the film.
- Likewise shows in his acting, he really has much of annoyed expression through most of the film. Thankfully since he's the villain, it works out in the film's favor.
- No Stunt Double: The principal actors in the movie did most of the stunt driving themselves. While all of the principals needed stunt driving lessons - Yasiin Bey needed a little more work, because he didn't have a driver's license at the outset of production.
- Romance on the Set: Jason Statham and Kelly Brook were dating at the time.
- Scully Box: For enhancing his body height, Mark Wahlberg used high heeled shoes throughout the movie. However, in the opening introduction scene and the two basketball scenes, he used normal shoes.
- Stillborn Franchise: There were plans for a sequel set in Brazil called The Brazilian Job, which were scrapped when the film under-performed. That script was later retooled as Fast Five.
- What Could Have Been: Jason Statham was not the filmmakers' first choice for Handsome Rob. Originally they intended to cast someone with traditional good looks. Eventually they decided that it would work better if Handsome Rob was not classically handsome, but instead had an attitude and a confidence to him that made him just as attractive. Hence, swaggering action hero Jason Statham.
- Write Who You Know: The screenwriters actually have a friend nicknamed Handsome Rob.
Trivia / The Italian Job (2003)