One of the inspirations for this movie came from Paul's own real life "Crash moment" 14 years ago.
"The jumping off point was in 1991. Two guys came up and put guns in our faces—myself and my then-wife—and said, 'We'll take the car.' And I said, 'Absolutely.' And gave it to them and they took off. Now, writers, we don't respond to instincts like human beings do. I couldn't stop thinking about these two kids over the years. So I responded with curiosity, and once a year I'd think about these two kids: Had they been best friends since they were young? Or did they just meet that evening? Did they think of themselves as criminals?
"So I was really curious about them and then 10 years later, after 9/11, I woke up at 2 in the morning thinking about them. And I got really angry. I didn't know why I was thinking about them and didn't want to think about them. But I started writing about them ... and from there I was always curious about how we affect strangers. [For instance,] we're driving down the street and you cut me off and I yell at you and you flip me the finger and I go right and you go left. What happens to you? I never see you again. So do you go home and you get in a fight with your husband or something because of what happened? Or do you stop and save someone's life and I never know about it. ... That intrigued me. I said, 'I'm going to keep following these characters as they careen into each other's lives.'"