The screenplay is an old project of Sylvester Stallone. It was written many years before but it was never realized and then abandoned due to his age. It came back into fashion when Jason Statham showed interest.
Winona Ryder said she accepted the part as it allowed her to explore something new: "What's creepy is that she's sober and she's running this drug operation with James Franco's character, and to me it's the epitome of evil, in a weird way. If it's possible to be a victim and be diabolical at the same time, I had never explored that. There was also a slightly campy, arm-candy element to her that appealed to me. She's such a complete chich. She's what you think of when you hear the words 'biker chick'".