The character of Val Mayerik (Brett Leonard, who was also the director) is a reference to the comic artist by the same name. Val Mayerik drew the early issues of the Man-Thing comic book as well as the even earlier appearances of the Man-Thing in the Fear comic book in the early 1970s.
Although filming was originally intended to be done in New Orleans, budget realities forced the production to be relocated to Australia. They were the first production to use the new Kurnell studios, and enlisted regional actors for virtually every role.
The characters of Steve Gerber (William Zappa) and Mike Ploog (Robert Mammone) are references to the comic creators by the same names. While they didn't create the Man-Thing, they worked together on the first ongoing series of the comic book character and developed it further (e.g. establishing the "Nexus of All Realities"). Steve Gerber is also known as the creator of "Howard the Duck" and Mike Ploog is famous for his work on Marvel Comics' adaptations of "Planet of the Apes" and "Monster of Frankenstein" and most recently for his work on "Abadazad" (CrossGen Comics) and "Stardust Kid" (Image Comics) with writer J.M. DeMatteis.
After this movie's release, the film rights reverted back to Marvel Studios. Subsequent references to Man-Thing the character, have been made throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Co-star Rachael Taylor is a cast member of Netflix's Jessica Jones, also set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Filming lasted from late August 2003, until late October 2003. This was originally intended for a direct-to-video release, but later there was plans for a small release to theaters in Spain, Russia, and United Arab Emirates. However, those plans were scrapped, and the film sat unreleased, until it was later announced as a Sci Fi Channel Original Movie in spring 2005. The DVD and VHS became available in summer 2005.