Being a fan of the spaghetti western genre, director Martin Koolhoven casted German character actor Dan van Husen as Auer. Van Husen started his acting career in Italy, acting in over 20 spaghetti westerns.
The majority of the movie was filmed in Lithuania due to the absence of snow in the Netherlands. Artificial snow was used in some of the scenes that were filmed in the Netherlands, and digital snow was sometimes added in post-production.
The wrecked aircraft that the pilot escaped from was a De Havilland Mosquito, a versatile light bomber. Since he crashed at night, he was probably on a pathfinder mission, dropping target locating flares for the heavy bombers. Although Mosquitos were extensively employed as night fighters, the camouflage of the wrecked aircraft would suggest it was from a bomber squadron, since British night fighters were painted all black.
Director Martin Koolhoven has talked in interviews about how some spaghetti westerns influenced the movie. The introduction of Ben (played by Yorick van Wageningen) is similar to the introduction of Cheyenne (played by Jason Robards) in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) in the sense that the lead first hears the approaching character, which has a mystifying effect. Then the character is seen, but his eyes are covered by his hat, through a movement of the head of the actor, the eyes of the character are shown, completing the mythologizing effect. Koolhoven has also talked about the influence of The Great Silence (1968) and A Man Called Blade (1977) on the movie.