The infamous monologue that Sin LaSalle delivered was neither in the novel nor in the early drafts of the script. The idea was put on by director F. Gary Gray who wanted Sin to be likable, but serious at the same time as well.
Even though the film clearly deviates from the novel, there were some moments in the film which serves as a nod to the source novel: 1) The burn-out photo that Tiffany has (later picked up by Chili) is a nod to the fact that in the novel, the Russians operate a one-hour photo shop instead of the pawn shop. 2) The confrontation between DubMDs and the Russians in Nick's office is a nod to the intended shoot-out between the two. In the novel, neither parties appear in the second half. 3) When Raji tries to setup Sin LaSalle against Nick, Raji deliberately spell Carr's last name as CAR. In the novel, Nick's full last name is Carcaterra.
In the scene when Elliot (Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock)) is chasing Raji (Vince Vaughn) around the car, most of the scene was improvised. At the end, when Raji was saying, "E. Weasy" and started to dance, once the camera moves back, you can see Elliot smiling.
Joe Pesci was part of the cast before filming began. But, for reasons unknown, he left the project shortly before production started.
Eric Balfour's role as Derek was cut from the movie, although at least some of his scenes appears among the deleted scenes on the DVD.
In the beginning of the film, Chili mentions how a film needs to only use the "F" word more than once in order to get an R rating. He then uses the "F" word - the only use of it in the film - and thus, it gets a PG-13 rating.
Elmore Leonard named Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock)'s character after real-life film critic and Detroit Institute of Arts film curator Elliot Wilhelm (the real Wilhelm makes an uncredited appearance early in the film as a patron at the Viper Room).
The scenes at the NBA game with John Travolta and Uma Thurman were filmed at the Staples Center during a game between the Lakers and the Sacramento Kings on 26 February 2004. Although the film depicts the Lakers winning the game, they lost 101-103.
When Sin LaSalle goes to call Raji after the threatening "prank" call, we get to see two of the numbers in Sin's cell phone directory. One is R. Lowenthal (Raji), the other is G. Gray - an obvious reference to director F. Gary Gray.
Footage for a concert scene featuring Aerosmith and Christina Milian was filmed at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts on 24 June 2004.