Trivia: All the characters in the movie are named after famous prisons around the world - Holloway, Wren, Leavenworth, San Quentin, etc. The characters match the prison types too - Alderson never meets the group, and isolation is the major form of punishment at Alderson Prison in West Virginia. Dr. Hollaway is a female doctor, and Holloway Prison is a women's prison in England, Kazan is autistic, and Kazan Prison is Russia is a "disorganized" prison, etc.
Trivia: During the beginning of the film, Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves are on top of the office building. Pacino is promising money, clients, and power to Reeves if he joins his firm. This is a reference to the temptation of Christ where Satan took him to a mountain and showed him all the cities of the world and promised it to him if he bowed down to him.
Trivia: Filmmakers George Miller and Francis Ford Coppola both sued Warner Bros. over Contact. George Miller sued for breach of contract (as he was the original director before being fired and replaced by Robert Zemeckis), while Coppola sued because he claimed that he and Carl Sagan (the writer of Contact) had already developed the premise for a TV show in the 1970's which was never produced, before Sagan later used the idea for Contact in 1985. Both suits failed - Miller's firing was within contract and perfectly reasonable, and Coppola was dismissed (twice) because he had taken far too long to sue the company (if he sued when Sagan began working in the 80's, he may have won, but he waited until after the film's release in 1997 to sue).