This movie was based on the real life FBI sting operation in the 1980s to infiltrate the Boston mob teamsters. An FBI agent went undercover as a movie studio executive and contracted George Moffly, an aspiring filmmaker, to create it. Throughout the whole time George had no idea that he was making a fake movie. The sting only captured a few minor Mob members. The details of this unusual story can be found in a GQ article (March 2000).
When Alec Baldwin's character tells 'Tony Shaloub''s character that they are considering replacing the burro with a Bald Eagle he exclaims "What is this, a Disney Picture?!?" The movie was produced by Touchstone Pictures and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures, both of which are part of the Disney Corporation.