Peter Stone, the writer of Charade (1963) (the basis for the movie) was so against this remake, that in some releases of this movie, his screenwriting credit was changed to Peter Joshua, the name of Cary Grant's character in Charade.
The part of Joshua Peters was originally intended for Will Smith, but due to the extended production on Ali (2001), he was unable to make the start of filming on Charlie, so Demme had to move forward with Mark Wahlberg instead, losing the Thandie Newton and Will Smith "double-act" he had imagined watching the original movie Charade (1963).
There's a double-barreled New Wave homage in one scene, where the Widow Hippolyte character is seen loading a shop van with advertising on the side for "Les parapluies de Cousin Jacques," with a street address in Cherbourg. The shop information refers to director Jacques Demy, playing on the title of "Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg);" the actress loading the van is Agnès Varda, Demy's widow.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
At the end of the film, as Madame du Lac brings Carson Dyle (Tim Robbins) his meal, Robbins stands at attention in the center of his cell in an imitation of the first appearance of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), also directed by Jonathan Demme.