U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula should be held after officials said he violated his probation term for a 2010 check fraud conviction.
A federal prosecutor said Nakoula had eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases.
After his 2010 conviction, Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was barred from using computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.
A 14-minute trailer for the film "Innocence of Muslims" was posted on YouTube in July, leading to protests around the Middle East. The trailer depicts the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester.
The violence broke out Sept. 11 and has spread since, killing dozens. Nakoula, a Christian originally from Egypt, went into hiding after he was identified as the man behind the trailer.
In court Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said Nakoula was a flight risk based on a "lengthy pattern of deception."
"He has every incentive to disappear," Dugdale said.
Nakoula, 55, was handcuffed and shackled in court.
The full story about Nakoula and the video still isn't known. Meanwhile, a number of actors and workers on the film have come forward to say they were tricked. They say they were hired for a film titled "Desert Warrior" and there was no mention of Islam or Muhammad in the script.