During 1977 and 1978, bassist Marino Pelajić, guitarist Mladen Jurčić, and drummer Branko Hromatko were Azra members when Branimir "Johnny" Štulić brought Jura Stublić as the new vocalist. Stublić was to become Aerodrom member, but due to his deep vocals it never happened. The lineup functioned for a few months only and after a quarrel with Štulić, on early 1979, Pelajić, Jurčić, Hromatko and Stublić formed the band Šporko Šalaporko i Negove Žaluzine, naming the band after a story from the "Polet" youth magazine, which was soon after renamed to Film. The memories of the Azra lineup later inspired Štulić to write the song "Roll over Jura" released on Filigranski pločnici in 1982.
Saxophonist Jurij Novoselić, who at the time had worked under the pseudonym Kuzma Videosex, joined the band, inspiring others to use pseudonym instead of their original names: vocalist Stublić became Jura Jupiter, bassist Pelajić became Mario Baraccuda and guitarist Jurčić became Max Wilson. Before joining the band, Stublić did not have much experience as a vocalist, however, since his father had been an opera singer, he often visited the theatre and opera, and at the age of 13, he started playing the guitar, earning money as a street performer at seaside resorts.
Beckett’s original choice for the lead – referred to only as “O” – was Charlie Chaplin, but his script never reached him. Both Beckett and the director Alan Schneider were interested in Zero Mostel and Jack MacGowran. However, the former was unavailable and the latter, who accepted at first, became unavailable due to his role in a "Hollywood epic." Beckett then suggested Buster Keaton. Schneider promptly flew to Los Angeles and persuaded Keaton to accept the role along with "a handsome fee for less than three weeks' work."James Karen, who was to have a small part in the film, also encouraged Schneider to contact Keaton.
The filmed version differs from Beckett's original script but with his approval since he was on set all the time, this being his only visit to the United States. The script printed in Collected Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett (Faber and Faber, 1984) states:
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