Netflix to finance & finish lost Orson Welles film

SVOD service Netflix will finance the completion and restoration of Orson Welles’ unfinished, final film, The Other Side of the Wind.

Orson Welles in Touch of Evil

Orson Welles in Touch of Evil

The late Welles directed the feature in 1970, based on a screenplay he and Oja Kodar co-wrote and starring the likes of John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich and Lilli Palmer.

However, it went unfinished and Welles, who is most famous for writing and starring in seminal Hollywood movie Citizen Kane, died in 1985.

Producer Frank Marshall, who was a production manager on The Other Side of the Wind, has led efforts to complete the film for more than four decades, and will now oversee its completion alongside Filip Jan Rymsza and Netflix.

The film is a satire on Hollywood and follows Huston as an ageing, legendary director struggling to forge a final great comeback as a filmmaker.

“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 Marshall.

Rymsza’s Royal Road Entertainment (Valley of the Gods) is producing the movie with Welles and Les Films de L’Astrophore.

“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’s 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.”

Bogdanovich, Jens Koethner Kaul, Beatrice Welles, Carla Rosen-Vacher, Olga Kagan and Jon Anderson were executive producers on the film, which is expected to get a wide, theatrical release, and will be released to Netflix’s subscribers in 190 territories.

The news is among the biggest marketing coups Netflix has scored since moving into feature films by financing the likes of Beasts of No Nation. Yesterday, it announced Scott Stuber has come in to run drive into original movies.