It’s been almost 33 years since Orson Welles’ death and yet, here we are, preparing for the release of the heralded director’s final film, The Other Side of the Wind. Much has been made of the film in the time since his death. Welles began shooting it in 1970 and within two years it was reported to be nearly finished, though in 1979 it was then reported the director had only edited about 40 minutes of film. Thanks to legal issues over the film’s ownership, The Other Side of the Wind’s was placed in a vault. It stars John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Bob Random, and Dennis Hopper.
Welles never got the chance to finish his last film, which ironically features a storyline focusing on a film director, played by Houston, looking to complete his last Hollywood picture. It remained in the vault until 2004 when Bogdanovich announced intentions to complete it, despite more legal ownership complications with the negatives, though this time the main deterrent was from the Welles estate. But last year Netflix, arguably the biggest name in entertainment, acquired the rights to The Other Side of the Wind’s negative and began piecing the remainder together in post-production. And from the first look of the film, it’s definitely looks bizarre, incredible and quintessential Welles. Some of the film has been seen, however, when Welles screened two scenes in 1975 during an American Film Institute event where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award. It will also be awesome to see Hopper in one more role, since he passed away back in 2010.
Take a look at the trailer and see what you think of the film 40 years in the making:
A man of many talents, Welles became well known in the 1930s for his Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, his radio broadcast of War of the Worlds and directing Citizen Kane, which is widely regarded as the greatest film ever made. During his career, as well as posthumously, Welles won almost every major Hollywood award and is credited as the inspiration to a number of present-day directors, such as Peter Jackson and Tim Burton, who cast Vincent D’Onofrio to play Welles in his 1994 film Ed Wood. Here’s the official synopsis for The Other Side of The Wind:
“Surrounded by fans and skeptics, grizzled director J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (a revelatory John Huston) returns from years abroad in Europe to a changed Hollywood, where he attempts to make his comeback: a career summation that can only be the work of cinema’s most adventurous filmmaker, Orson Welles.”
It will be unveiled on August 31 at the Venice International Film Festival before being released on Netflix, and in select theaters, November 2. There will also be a coinciding documentary on Welles from Morgan Neville, the director of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?