A lot of Johnny Depp's dialogue was improvised, including the scene where they are trying to find a place to put all their money from selling coke and his line "We're gonna need a bigger boat" (a quote from Jaws (1975)).
According to the Director's Commentary, the tape that George Jung leaves for his father near the end of the movie is a verbatim transcript of a tape that the real George Jung recorded under similar circumstances.
The real George Jung (played by Johnny Depp in the film) was released from prison on 2 June 2014. He was due to be freed in November, but was released early after fulfilling a plea bargain by testifying against his co-conspirators. Jung will reside in a San Francisco halfway home until he re-adjusts to society.
When George is in the courtroom the first night before he finds out that Barbara's sick, the words that he is reciting to convince the judge that he is innocent are lines from Bob Dylan's song "It Ain't Me Babe" and Woody Guthrie's song "Pretty Boy Floyd".
When George is sharing a cell in prison with Diego, George is seen reading a paperback while reclining on his top bunk. The book is "Hells Angels" written by Hunter S. Thompson, the author whom Depp previously portrayed in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).
The scene at the hotel (where Johnny Depp gets shot in the shoulder) was supposed to be taking place in Miami Beach. It was filmed at a small hotel outside of downtown Los Angeles, where it was raining and about 40°. Shooting had to be delayed briefly because the actor's breath could be seen on film.
In one scene, George (Johnny Depp) has his suitcase searched at an airport. When a pair of women's underwear are found, George says "Hard to break old habits." This is an obvious reference to Depp's previous film Ed Wood (1994) in which Depp's character is well known for wearing women's underwear.