Gayle says she thinks this is Spike's best movie to date—a goal Spike says he is always striving for. "I could not have done this five years ago," he says. "I wasn't mature enough or had the skill level. But I believe things happen when they're supposed to happen, and this was a time to make this film now."
Spike says he grew up watching World War II films, but the story he really wanted to tell was of the black soldiers, like his two uncles. At the film's premiere, Spike says two Tuskegee airman and two Buffalo soldiers were introduced to the crowd and received a standing ovation. "Afterward, they said, 'Spike, thank you for doing this.' For me, that's the validation because these men were fighting for this country at a time when we were still considered second-class citizens. But despite that, they knew that one day things would be better."