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  • Cast the Expert: Producer Robert H. Solo hired real gang members as guardians as well as actors. Two of them were shot during filming.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original script by Richard Di Lello took place in Chicago, and was more about drug dealing than gang members. Dennis Hopper ordered changes, so Michael Schiffer was hired, and the setting was changed to Los Angeles, and the focus of the story became more about the world of gang members.
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    • After working alongside Mickey Rourke on Rumble Fish, Hopper was so impressed with his abilities, that he told Rourke he wanted him as his leading man for his next two directing projects, which would have started with this movie, with Rourke in the lead role as Officer Danny McGavin. Although it was informally agreed to by Rourke, when time came for filming, Rourke was immersed in other projects, and so Hopper cast Penn instead.

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