Director Taika Waititi was less than a week away from filming when he realised the boy he had as lead wasn't working out. Three days before filming began, James Rolleston, who was hanging around on set as an extra, was given the lead by Taika Waititi.
Due to the films success in New Zealand, the song "Poi E", originally released in 1984, re-entered the New Zealand charts and reached number 3 on May 24 2010. It is the only New Zealand song to chart over three decades.
During the imagined 'prison escape' of Boy's father, Alamein, Alamein is seen throwing a spoon into a prison officer's eye. The prison officer is played by Stu Rutherford, who takes a bigger role in writer-director Taika Waititi's next film, "What We Do In The Shadows", playing the friend of vampire Nick, who the other vampires take a shine to and soon consider a close friend.