In the DVD's Director's commentary, Sidney Lumet says that when the nude scene between Gina and Hank was shot, Ethan Hawke wanted to make Marisa Tomei feel more comfortable, and insisted on being nude as well. He further insisted that every male crew member strip naked while filming the scene to accommodate Tomei.
Michael Shannon recalled that when he came to audition Sidney Lumet prompted him to read only one line before telling him he was excused. An uncertain Shannon got up to leave and overheard Lumet immediately tell the casting director, "That's who I want."
In the DVD's Director's commentary, Sidney Lumet stated that in the original script, the character of Bobby Lasorda was supposed to be only 19 years old. The character was made older to make the character seem more realistic and sad.
Sidney Lumet was introduced to digital film techniques through this production and reportedly loved working with digital film, primarily due to it's convenience. This was his first and ultimately only film to be shot in the digital format.
The film title translation in Spanish is "Antes de que el diablo sepa que has muerto", however both in Mexico and in Spain, the film title was the grammatically incorrect "Antes que el diablo sepa que has muerto" which literally means "Beforehand, let the devil knows you are dead", almost exactly the opposite meaning of its original title.
The film stars two actresses who have played Aunt May in Spiderman films. Rosemary Harris played the part in Sam Raimi's Spiderman in 2002 and Marisa Tomei would go on to play the same role in Spiderman Homecoming in 2017.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The scene of Andy and Hank robbing the drug dealer was filmed with two simultaneous setups, one on Philip Seymour Hoffman and one on Ethan Hawke to better capture their tension and reactions to each other. Sidney Lumet is experienced with the use of multiple camera setups in a single take from his career in live television.
Andy's (Philip Seymour Hoffman) character is depicted as an upper class drug user, who is seen consuming both cocaine and heroin throughout the film. In real life, the actor died from an acute mixed drug overdose from a speedball of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepine and amphetamine, on February 2, 2014. Before his relapse in 2013, Hoffman had been completely sober for 23 years.