- All-Star Cast: Featuring Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, and Benjamin Bratt. There are dozens of familiar faces in the supporting roles as well.
- Dawson Casting: The four high school students (who are meant to be sixteen or seventeen) are played by actors ranging in age from 18 to 25.
- Fake Nationality: Mexicans Rodriguez and General Salazar are played by Puerto Rican Benicio del Toro and Cuban-American (with Italian citizenship) Tomas Milian, respectively. The White House Chief-of-Staff is played by English actor Albert Finney.
- Real-Life Relative: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are married in real-life, and that is their child she's carrying.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Catherine Zeta-Jones' Real Life pregnancy was written into the script. It's actually not a big deal or major plot point except for the scene where she refuses to snort cocaine. Originally, her character was already a mother of two instead of six months pregnant.
- Recycled Set: The scenes that take place in the White House were shot on the set of The West Wing, which is a near-exact replica (albeit wider, to allow for free movement of the cameras) of the actual interiors of the White House's West Wing.
- Those Two Actors: Don Cheadle and Miguel Ferrer would work together again in Iron Man 3. Other Traffic would also pop up later in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Benicio del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy, Michael Douglas in Ant-Man and Benjamin Bratt in Doctor Strange (2016).
- What Could Have Been: Harrison Ford was offered the role of Judge Wakefield and accepted. He worked with Steven Soderbergh to improve the character, but then decided not to do the movie. Kevin Costner, Richard Gere and Al Pacino were all considered before Michael Douglas (who originally turned down the role) accepted.
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