The streaming service takes on the most famous film never to be released.
More than 86 million potential viewers will soon be able to Netflix and chill with Orson Welles’ final opus.
On March 14, Netflix announced that it had acquired the global rights to Welles’ unfinished film “The Other Side of the Wind” — a movie within a movie that very closely resembled the legendary director’s life. The streaming service said it would finance the completion and restoration of the film, which is considered by movie buffs to be the most famous film to never be released.
“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,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told The Guardian in a statement.
Orson Welles on the set of “Verites et mensonges” in 1973 / Getty Images
In the early 1970s, after more than a decade in Europe, Welles returned to Hollywood to begin filming “The Other Side of the Wind,” according to Vanity Fair. Although Welles said the movie was not autobiographical, the film, which starred John Huston, Dennis Hopper and Peter Bogdanovich, was about a director who comes back to Hollywood, after spending years in Europe, to film his comeback movie — which is also titled “The Other Side of the Wind.”
The film, which was supposed to be Welles’ comeback after the success of his critically acclaimed 1941 film “Citizen Kane,” was only supposed to take a few weeks to shoot. But it actually took years to film, and when Welles died of a heart attack in 1985, it was incomplete.
Since then, endless legal battles among rights holders have held up the completion of the project, causing 1,083 reels of negatives to collect dust inside a Parisian warehouse, The New York Times reported in 2014.
Yet, with Netflix now involved, perhaps this project will finally see the light of day.