Weeks before filming was about to begin, a lead producer backed out. Though her major reason was financial, she wrote to other producers and mentioned, among other things, director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's pregnancy, which Ergüven had learned a week before. Three days later, Charles Gillibert saved the day as he came on board to produce the film.
Director/writer Deniz Gamze Ergüven met her co-writer Alice Winocour at the Cannes Film Festival's Atelier for beginner film makers where they were the only two women attending the program. Ergüven was there to work on a film about the LA riots, which would become Kings (2017). After Ergüven failed to attract producers and financiers, Winocour suggested Ergüven do a smaller scale movie to prove that she was capable of directing. Together they started working on Mustang.
The soccer scene was acted at an actual match where no men above the age of 12 were allowed to attend. Since the filmmakers were denied filming the match at the last minute, they sent the actresses to perform the scene anyway and used actual footage from the broadcast in the film.
Warren Ellis, who had never done a film score by himself, initially declined director Deniz Gamze Ergüven's offer to compose a score for the film due to a busy schedule, but was eventually persuaded. "She'd just had the baby and come straight back in with the baby on her lap, editing the film," Ellis recalled. "It just shows how pathetic we are as guys."