The film was inspired by a dream Sophie Barthes had in which Woody Allen discovers that his soul looks just like a chickpea. Barthes wrote the first draft with Allen in mind for the lead role.

Inspired and infused by Carl Jung's "Modern Man in Search of a Soul".

The script composition include associations and intentions from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust", "Dead Souls"by Nikolai Gogol, "The hands of Orlac" by Maurice Renard and Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea".

Paul plays himself and was also in "Congress" where Robin Wright plays herself. Obviously both movies had something to do with acting.