Actors Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Tom Savini all appeared in the original 1978 version of this film, but playing different characters. Ken Foree delivers the tagline he delivered as "Peter" from the 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead; "When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth."
An extra on the DVD release for this film, "We interrupt this program", a fake newscast depicting the start and spread of the zombie infection, contains some characters whose dialog consists of lines from the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Night of the Living Dead (1968).
According to "the lost tape", which contains gun shop owner Andy's personal video diary (accessible as a bonus feature on the director's cut DVD), the main characters arrive at the mall early in the movie on May the 9th. Therefore, the movie opens a day earlier on May the 8th (Andy mentions that attacks on citizens by the undead had already started on the 7th). Andy makes his last entry just before he turns into one of the undead on June the 6th, and the movie ends on that same day (not including the footage during the end credits). This places the events of Dawn of the Dead in a space of just 29 days--and it begins and ends at dawn
According to the director, Zack Snyder, on the DVD commentary he states that Scott Frank and Michael Tolkin both did uncredited rewrites on the script.
According to director Zack Snyder, Starbucks Coffee refused to be featured in the film.
Director Zack Snyder personally chose most of the music used in the film. His choices included "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash, and Richard Cheese's cover of Disturbed's "Down With the Sickness". Snyder was the only person who thought these songs should be in the film, as most of the producers were against it.
The scene between 'Sarah Polley' (Ana), Mekhi Phifer (Andre), Jayne Eastwood (Norma), and Kim Poirier (Monica) at the Hallowed Grounds Café was re-written in order to include actress Kim Poirier to give her more screen time since director Zack Snyder and producer Eric Newman enjoyed her performance so much. However, her character's name is never once mentioned throughout the entire film. Also most unfortunate, a lot of her dialog scenes were trimmed or eliminated from the film, such as the dinner scene
Members of Rue-Morgue Magazine, a Canadian-based publication had cameos as zombies in the film
The WGON traffic copter makes an appearance. The WGON traffic copter was the main transportation for the survivors in the original Dawn of the Dead (1978).
One of the invoices in "Andy's Gun Works" is made out to Nicholas Gazda who is the first assistant art director of this movie.
One of the clothing stores in the mall is named "Gaylen Ross". Gaylen Ross played the part of Fran in the original Dawn of the Dead (1978).
The name of Ving Rhames' character, Kenneth, is an obvious nod to actor Ken Foree, who played a very similar role in the original Dawn of the Dead (1978).
A UK MTV Host, Alex Zane, is featured during the zombies' rampage through the mall. After interviewing Zack Snyder he was invited to be in the film, thus as we see the zombies running past the camera once they've entered the mall, he is clad in a bright white checkered shirt.
The mall scenes of the film as well as the rooftop scenes were shot in the Thornhill Square Shopping Centre in Thornhill, Ontario and the rest of the scenes were shot in the Aileen-Willowbrook Neighborhood of Thornhill, and the Township of Caledon East, Ontario. The set for Ana and Louis's bedroom was constructed in a back room of the mall. The mall was defunct, which is the reason the production used it; the movie crew completely renovated the structure, and stocked it with fictitious stores after Starbucks Coffee and numerous other corporations refused to let their names be used (two exceptions to this are Roots and Panasonic). Most of the mall was demolished shortly after the film was shot. The highway in the overhead composite shot of Ana driving past the exploding gas station is HWY 50, one kilometer south of Bolton, Ontario. The Crossroads Mall is a small strip-mall at the intersection of HWY 9 and HWY 27 just north of Caledon East. The second converted mall shuttle (with the fire damage) was shipped out of Bolton in the summer of 2006.
The first scene in the basement finishes when Michael burns the zombies with fuel from the gas station and CJ's lighter. This is a reference to a similar scene in George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).