The audio track was verified by actor and wildlife enthusiast Pirkka-Pekka Petelius to ensure that the birds heard in the background throughout the film were correct given the time of year.
Altogether the movie will have three different versions. In addition to the 2 hour 59 minute release in Finnish cinemas and the international release with a running time of 2 hours 13 minutes the movie will be edited to a 5 episode mini-series for YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) with a combined running time of approximately 4 hours. The series is scheduled to be released at the end of year 2018.
The original filming location for the winter scenes was Vekaranjärvi, Kouvola, but since the winter 2016-17 in southern Finland did not offer enough snow, the filming was moved farther north to Kuhmo.
An extra was tragically killed in an accident when a scene with horses was filmed. The actual footage can also be seen on film. Horses got wild due to explosions on the set and the extra was crushed under a horse carriage.
Composer Lasse Enersen has stated that the music for the movie was highly inspired by Finnish nature and archaic folk music, music of Jean Sibelius and veterans intimate writings about emotional experiences during war.
This is the third film adaptation of the 1954 best-selling novel of the same name by Finnish author Väinö Linna. The first film was released in 1955 and the second in 1985.