Luis Guzmán, who plays Nacho, also played Pachanga in Carlito's Way.

The movie is based on one of Edwin Torres' book series on the criminal life of Carlito Brigante. This is based after the first book in the series "Carlito's Way". Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993) took the first books title because at the time it was decided that they would not take the title of the second book "After Hours" to avoid confusion with the Martin Scorsese -directed movie of the same name (After Hours (1985)).

Although based on the early criminal life of Carlito Brigante this films story is entirely different from the books story and from the first film as of timelines.