Netflix, in it’s newest power move, has just acquired the rights to the infamously unfinished Orson Welles film, The Other Side of the Wind. Left unfinished when Welles died in 1985, this film dominated much of his life in the 1970s, filled with reshoots, rewrites and a general lack of understanding of the plot on set, even by Welles himself.
Frank Marshall, an original line producer on The Other Side of the Wind in the ‘70s, told The N.Y. Times, “I’m not going to be defeated here. We’re going to get this done.” Netflix comes alongside Marshall, Filip Jan Ryszma and Peter Bogdanovich, who acted in the film, to release the belabored project from the clutches of a French film lab. While it is unfinished, it’s not all that far from completion. Welles shot most of the film in the ‘70s, so now it just needs an editing team to piece together the Hollywood satire, a “skewering of avant-garde directors.” Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said, “Cinephiles and film enthusiasts around the world will experience the magic of Orson Welles once again, or for the very first time.”
This is not the first big move for Netflix, by a long shot. Honestly, they’re changing the face of cinema as we know it, and it’s a fascinating time to be a cinephile. First they took Crackle’s crown jewel, followed by the purchase of a Scorsese picture. And now an unseen, oft-talked-about Orson Welles production? Next thing we know, they’ll be bringing the man himself back from the dead. “Netflix and necromancy” will be the new catchphrase.
The Other Side of the Wind will stream on Netflix at some point, unless of course something else happens, which is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Take a look at the fascinating history The Other Side of the Wind via Vanity Fair, featuring probably the best little nugget about the whole production: When Rich Little, a comedian who was cast in the film, asked Orson what the title, The Other Side of the Wind, meant, Welles responded, “I haven’t the foggiest.”