The film premiered as "Hardcore" at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2015. The film became one of the most popular movies at the festival, and led to a bidding war between Lionsgate, Universal, and STX Entertainment. Ultimately, STX acquired worldwide rights to "Hardcore", including a wide release commitment, for $10 million, becoming the studio's first festival acquisition. It was retitled "Hardcore Henry" for its domestic release.
The video game "Payday 2" had a cross-promotion before the movie's release. It came with heists relating to the film's plot, along with a new playable character (Jimmy) and new weapons. A poster for the game can be seen on wall of the one of the apartments where Slick Dimitri is found and Jimmy's mask from the game can be seen in the drawer with the weapons in the strip club.
Before this film, writer and director Ilya Naishuller made several music videos for his Russian punk rock band "Biting Elbows". The videos were shot in the same style: Fast paced, first person perspective action videos.
One of the movie posters seen in the film is "Lady In the Lake", the first feature film to have been shot entirely in the first person POV. Interestingly enough, "Lady in the Lake" is generally considered a flop for that very reason. This technique is rarely used outside such films as "Russian Ark" and "Hardcore Henry".
Production company Rooster Teeth teamed up with Sharlto Copley and the director of Hardcore Henry, along with some of its crew, to make a "Don't Talk or Text" PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse theatre chain.
Andrei Dementiev plays Henry. He also plays the character of Slick Dimitri. For that scene, a stuntman took over the role of Henry, so Andrei Dementiev could portray Slick Dimitri. This is the only scene in which we get to see what the film's protagonist looks like.
The concept for the film came from the "Bad Motherfucker" and "The Stampede" music videos which Director IIya Naishuller made with Producer Sergey Valyaev for his band Biting Elbows which were also shot with a GOPRO from the First-person perspective.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The scene where Henry slides down an escalator and knocks a woman violently to the ground wasn't planned. An extra missed her mark and was standing in the wrong area, resulting in her being knocked over. After the take she reportedly popped up and asked if they'd gotten the shot.
When asked which stunts were most difficult to film, Sharlto Copley cited elbowing a man out of a moving vehicle while driving and director Ilya Naishuller described the escalator scene. That was the last sequence shot in a late production reshoot, after Naishuller concluded that the shot was too dull and needed "something extra".
There might be a sequel to this film, because torwards the end of the end credits, while they're still rolling, a beep from an answering machine is heard and a message comes on. It's Jimmy. The message says, "Hello, Henry. Well, if you're hearing this, there's one more thing I need you to do."
There are actually 2 instances that audiences get to see Henry's face. The first time is the Slick Dimitri scene (the actor playing Slick Dimitri is in fact one of the actors who plays Henry) and at the end right before Henry's father speaks to him (the face reflected in the glass is Henry). This is especially confirmed because after Henry's father's speech, Henry can be seen faintly smiling before going to fight Akan.