Paclitaxel, a highly oxygenated diterpenoid, is one of the most successful therapeutics used in the treatment of various cancers. Due to the high global demand for the substance, its relative scarcity in nature and most of all, because the extraction from natural materials is either unsustainable or impractical a variety of biotechnological methods are employed for its industrial production. The substantial market for the substance allows for the production of a high added-value product, rationalising the ongoing optimization of the production processes as well as the search for alternative sources of paclitaxel. One of the most promising alternative sources are endophytic fungi, albeit their industrial use is yet to be realized. The discovery of paclitaxel in the common hazel (Corylus avellana L.) indicates the possible existence of yet unknown taxoid producing plant species, the intrinsic properties of which might make them more suitable for industrial use. A tentative option of utilizing the waste products of the food industry for paclitaxel extraction also emerges. Our understanding of commonly used microorganisms, their practicality and simplicity result in attempts to transfer the biosynthetic pathway for paclitaxel production away from the sometimes challenging plant hosts, although the progress is slow and troublesome. In this work we give a condensed review of the common paclitaxel production methods, the ways of improving said methods and the production of paclitaxel precursors in common industrial microorganisms and the endophytic fungi.