Django filming locations: where is Sky Western series filmed - was New Babylon a real place?

Sky Atlantic western series Django is a reimagining of the classic Spaghetti Western, set in the frontier town of New Babylon

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New Sky Atlantic drama Django is a reimagining of the 1966 Spaghetti Western classic, starring Matthias Schoenaerts as the titular gunslinger.

Django was filmed over a six-month shoot in 2021 and is finally airing now - the first episode landed on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Wednesday 1 Match, with the second episode following immediately after at 3.05am. Both episodes will be repeated from 9pm on 1 March, with single episodes released at the same time weekly.

The Sky series follows recent prestige western shows including The English and Frontier which take a new look at a well-trodden genre. The 10-part series will be discussed in the next Screen Babble podcast, out on Thursday.

Set in the rugged frontier terrain of the wild west in the post-bellum years, the series was actually shot in eastern Europe, thousands of miles from the American frontier.

Matthias Schoenaerts as DjangoMatthias Schoenaerts as Django
Matthias Schoenaerts as Django

Where is Django filmed?

Django is set in Texas in the years after the American Civil War - although the show also features plenty of flashbacks to the conflict - and follows gunslinger Django as he searches for his daughter in the Texas town of New Babylon.

Filming for the series did not take place in America - the show was mostly filmed in Romania, between Racos, Bucharest and the Danube.

The Racoș volcano, a popular tourist attraction in Romania was closed to visitors from May 2021 until 2022 due to filming taking place at the site. The volcanic landscape stands in for the rough Texas setting of the series.

Other major shows that were recently filmed in Romania include Addams Family spin-off Wednesday, ITVX thriller A Spy Among Friends, and Jodie Comer drama Killing Eve.

Was New Babylon a real place?

New Babylon is actually inspired by a real historical setting - Babylon was a place in Texas, roughly 70 miles south of Dallas. It was founded by former slaves after the Civil War, and around 1895 a church was established and named after the ancient city in modern day Iraq that is mentioned in the Bible.

Django was filmed in RomaniaDjango was filmed in Romania
Django was filmed in Romania

Over the course of the early 20th century Babylon declined, and following the Second World War almost all of the residents had left and the church closed - it is now a ghost town.

The name ‘New Babylon’ was originally coined by the Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys to describe his anti-capitalist imagined future cities. This was an idea of a place where people could live apart from a life dominated by work and live as truly free beings.

The New Babylon in Django follows similar themes to this, as it is a commune founded by former slave John Ellis for outcasts to live peaceably together, separate from the rest of the United States.

In Django, New Babylon acts as a metaphor for the two possible worlds that could emerge during Reconstruction. In the years immediately following the American Civil War, a new society in which slavery was now outlawed came into being.

In one world, the world of New Babylon, people of all backgrounds - former slaves, and former slave owners, Union and Confederate soldiers - could live in peace together in a free and equal society.

However, this sadly isn’t how Reconstruction panned out - across the South racist legislation came into place in the late 19th and early 20th century that paved the way for segregation. The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist terrorist group emerged with the aim of subjugating Black Americans through fear and violence.