This is Dan O'Bannon's second film as a director and his sixth horror film as a screenwriter, though he is uncredited in the film in this capacity. O'Bannon made his directorial debut in the horror genre in 1985 with The Return of the Living Dead, which he also wrote.
Weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft was dissatisfied with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and did not actively seek out publication for the piece. Lovecraft's contemporary, August Derleth was the one who pushed to have it published, though a completed version of the story was not revealed to the general public for fourteen years after it had been written.