There is a deliberate mistranslation of the English subtitles when K, played by Steven Yeun, is about to jump out of the truck at the beginning. According to the subtitles, his parting words to Mija are "Mija! Try learning English. It opens new doors!" What he actually says in Korean is "Mija! Also, my name is Koo Soon-bum." It's a flagrant mistranslation - but one that would only be apparent to those who can speak both languages. Moreover, the mistranslation is a clever subversion of the supremacy of English. The subtitle is a command to learn English - something every Korean student has heard throughout their life. But to actually understand what K is saying, you would have to know Korean. There's an added layer of comedy to the name itself, which has the whiff of the old country about it: "Koo Soon-bum" is sort of like a white man saying his name is "Buford Attaway." As Yeun said in an interview, "When he says 'Koo Soon-bum,' it's funny to you if you're Korean, because that's a dumb name. There's no way to translate that. That's like, the comedy drop-off, the chasm between countries."
When the movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, the audience began to boo when the Netflix's title card was shown in the opening credits, they then followed up by showing the first 10 minutes of the film in the wrong ratio causing more booing. The film was played again from the beginning with even louder boos when the Netflix's title card was shown for the second time.
This film and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) generated some controversy after being selected for the competition line-up of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, due to the fact that, as Netflix productions, they wouldn't receive a theatrical release in France after the festival. Netflix did try to make a deal with French distributors and cinema chains for a limited release prior to the streaming premiere, but this was hindered by very strict French laws which prevent any film that's released in cinemas from being available on a streaming service prior to 36 months after the original theatrical release date. Although both films were retained in the competition line-up, the festival did respond to the controversy by amending its rules, specifying that, starting with the 2018 edition, all filmmakers and producers submitting their work for consideration for the competition must be committed to obtaining regular theatrical distribution in France.
During the New York parade scene, Tilda Swinton wears a traditional Korean dress called "Han Bok". Korean Han Bok are usually very colorful with red, blue and other bright colors, but Swinton's matches her limited two-color palette.
Plan B, is the film production company founded in November 2001 by Brad Grey, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. In 2005, after Pitt and Aniston divorced, Grey became the CEO of Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt became the sole owner of the company.
In the "big reveal" riot scene, there is an extended shot with a building's street address, 30 Broad, in the background. That's the home of Goldman Sachs, clearly a reference to the Occupy Wall Street protests.
In the Mirando corporate meeting after the pignapping news, Lucy Mirando says that when her sister was CEO, Moose Lake exploded from toxic waste dumping, "The only lake ever to explode." In fact, certain types of lakes experience natural "explosions" called limnic eruptions, such as Lake Nyos in Cameroon in 1986.