Netflix announced yesterday that the company is acquiring global rights to, and will finance the completion and restoration of, the legendary filmmaker Orson Welles’ last film, The Other Side of the Wind.
The film, which has remained unfinished for decades, was shot by Welles beginning in 1970, featuring a screenplay by Welles and Oja Kodar, and stars John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar, Robert Random, Lilli Palmer, Edmond O’Brien, Cameron Mitchell, Mercedes McCambridge, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Paul Stewart and Dennis Hopper.
The film is a Royal Road Entertainment production, and was originally produced by Welles and Les Films de L’Astrophore.
Producer Frank Marshall, who served as a Production Manager on the original production, and has led efforts to complete this film for over forty years, will oversee the completion of the film, working closely with fellow producer, Filip Jan Rymsza, whose involvement was instrumental in pursuing the film’s completion.
Working with Netflix, Marshall will oversee the restoration and completion of the film, with consultation from Peter Bogdanovich.
The film, a satire of Hollywood, focuses on the last days of a legendary film director named Jake Hannaford (played by Huston), who is struggling to forge his last great comeback as a major filmmaker. Hannaford is hard at work on his final masterpiece, The Other Side of The Wind.
“Like so many others who grew up worshipping the craft and vision of Orson Welles, this is a dream come true,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer.
“The promise of being able to bring to the world this unfinished work of Welles with his true artistic intention intact, is a point of pride for me and for Netflix. Cinephiles and film enthusiasts around the world will experience the magic of Orson Welles once again or for the very first time.”
“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,” said Frank Marshall.
“We could not ask for better partners or a better home. I’m immensely grateful to the whole Netflix team for their tireless effort and unwavering support. With Netflix’s global reach, this will undoubtedly be the widest release of any Orson Welles film, if not all of them combined,” said producer and founder of Royal Road Entertainment, Filip Jan Rymsza.
Welles is one of the most respected actors, writers, producers, and filmmakers in cinema history. He worked in theatre, radio and film, and won an Academy Award for co-writing the film, Citizen Kane, considered by many as one of the all-time greatest films. His other great works include the 1938 radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds, his landmark Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and his acclaimed films, The Magnificent Ambersons and Touch of Evil. Welles passed away in 1985.
The Other Side of the Wind is directed by Orson Welles, and written by Orson Welles and Oja Kodar. The film is being produced by Frank Marshall and Filip Jan Rymsza. The Executive Producers are Peter Bogdanovich, Jens Koethner Kaul, Beatrice Welles, Carla Rosen-Vacher, Olga Kagan and Jon Anderson.