Trivia: In an early scene in which Rachel is watching television, she's channel surfing. At one point, she hits briefly upon a shot of a car being demolished by a speeding locomotive. This is, in fact, a scene from "The Greatest Show on Earth," which Steven Spielberg has reported as the first movie he ever saw.
Trivia: When a group of aliens are exploring in the cellar, one of them spins the wheel of an overturned bicycle, and all are startled when the bicycle falls, making for a moment of comic relief. There's more to it, though. The H.G.Wells book mentions that the aliens probably had no concept of the wheel, as not a single rotating part was found inside the captured tripods. So an upside-down bicycle must have puzzled them a great deal.
Trivia: The sequence at the end, when the dying alien crawls out of the damaged machine, arm dangling, is taken directly from the 1953 original. This scene is not at all in either the book or the radio play.
Trivia: The plane crash scene that was built for this film is now part of the back-lot tour at Universal Studios. Ironically, the plane had to be repainted after the movie, as it had the logo of a real airline company, and pilots flying overhead were calling in an airline crash for that airline.
Trivia: The top of the Tripods look like the spaceships from the 1953 version. The comic "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" also had Tripods that looked like this.
Trivia: When they get picked up by the tripod, Tom Cruise destroys it by blowing it up with grenades, he lets the other people know by spitting the pins out of his mouth.Tom Cruise does this again in a later film Edge of Tomorrow at the end only this time he opens his hand to reveal the grenade pins.
Trivia: The set used for the 747 crash cost 9 million dollars, and appears in the film for a total of 4 and 1/2 minutes. Five years after the film was made the set is still intact, and a part of the Universal Studios tour in California. There is a steep hill directly behind the "crash site" with a residential neighborhood on top. The tour guides joke that when the people living up there have something they can't get rid of in a garage sale they just toss it down the hill and it becomes part of the debris field.