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Although a November 1955 Hollywood Reporter article lists Harold Jack Bloom as the screenwriter for Istanbul, only Seton I. Miller, Barbara Gray and Richard Allan Simmons receive onscreen credit, and Bloom's contribution to the final film is undetermined. According to a February 1956 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter, Universal considered Jeff Chandler to play "Jim Brennan" and Robert Middleton to play "Mr. Darius." Some scenes were shot on location in Istanbul, Turkey. Although studio production materials state that Nat "King" Cole's character sings "I Waited So Long"in the film, the song not included in the viewed print. The Daily Variety review erroneously lists the film's running time as 95 minutes.
In February 1957, Kim, Inc. sued Universal, Warners Theatres, Inc., Pacific Drive-In Theatres and others for $450,000 over the use of the title Istanbul, claiming that Universal infringed on their copyright privileges to the name. After a federal judge dismissed the case, a March 1957 Hollywood Reporter article reported that Kim, Inc. filed the same suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The disposition of that suit is unknown. Istanbul is a remake of the 1947 Universal film Singapore, which was directed by Jerry Bresler and starred Fred MacMurray and Ava Gardner (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). Seton I. Miller, who receives onscreen credit in Istanbul as screenwriter, wrote the story for the 1947 film but was not involved in the remake.