Despite being one of the most respected auteurs to ever live, Orson Welles had difficulties making films later in his career. His final outing, The Other Side Of The Wind, wasn’t completed by the time he died in 1985. But Netflix have swooped in to save it.
Netflix have acquired the rights to the film and will finance the restoration of it and complete it. Despite beginning production in 1970, the film still wasn’t completed fifteen years later and for decades fans have wondered what the completed product might have looked like.
The film is the story of the 70th birthday party of film director, Jake Hannaford, who is trying to make a comeback. It’s quintessential Welles, subversive and unique, with a film-within-a-film and a cynical tearing down of 70s Hollywood post-studio system.
Producer, Frank Marshall, will oversee the completion of the film, and said: “I can’t quite believe it, but after 40 years of trying, I am so very grateful for the passion and perseverance from Netflix that has enabled us to, at long last, finally get into the cutting room to finish Orson’s last picture”.
Peter Bogdanovich, who starred in the film alongside John Huston, Bob Random, Susan Strasberg and Oja Kodor, will help edit the film. Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, reportedly grew up worshipping Welles, so this is a huge coup and service to the world the company is doing, especially after a 2015 Indiegogo campaign to restore the film failed to get enough funding.
So huge excitement for film fans, and kudos to Netflix. Let’s just hope they don’t get Adam Sandler involved somehow.