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A 19 March 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Warner Bros. originally intended Eric Ambler's novel as a vehicle for Errol Flynn. An August 8, 1941 news item in Variety states that Warner Bros. had promoted Jo Graham, a dialogue director, to full director status and that his first assignment would be Background to Danger. Raoul Walsh, however, directed the picture. In the film, the characters appear to cross a border when they travel between Istanbul and Ankara, but it is unclear what border they are crossing. According to modern sources, William Faulkner worked on the script.