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Orson Welles: Netflix to Finish His Final Film for Him

Image: Orson Welles: Netflix to Finish His Final Film for Him

Portrait of actor and movie director Orson Welles. (AP Photo/Jacques Langevin)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 07:38 AM

The rights to Orson Welles' unfinished final film have been acquired by Netflix, which will finance its completion, according to Variety. And the film's original director is still around to consult on its editing.

"The Other Side of the Wind," was filmed from 1970 to 1976 and worked on until Welles' death at 70 in 1985, noted Variety. Welles shot the film from a screenplay he wrote with Oja Kodar, staring John Huston as a temperamental film director fighting with Hollywood executives to finish a film.

Huston's character was created from an encounter between Welles and famed writer Ernest Hemingway in 1937, four years before the release of Welles iconic "Citizen Kane." The two scuffled and a whiskey-drinking Hemingway threw a chair at Welles.

Variety said Welles decided to use Hemingway as the primary model for Huston's character.

According to the Welles resource website Wellesnet, producer Filip Jan Rymsza said  1,083 reels of negative footage, dailies, rushes and other materials were flown to Los Angeles on Monday to be scanned by Technicolor. The material had been kept at the LTC Laboratories near Paris.

Wellesnet said Rymsza will be producing the completion of the film with Frank Marshall who was a line producer on the 1970s shoot. The film's original director, Peter Bogdanovich, who co-starred in the film and was charged by Welles to finish it if he died, will consult on the editing.

"Everything is signed. All the deals are fully closed, both the Netflix deal and all of the rights deals," Rymsza told Wellesnet. "Everything we have done for the past year and a half has been grueling, but that's finally over and now we get to be creative and finally bring this film to life."

Netflix, which has not announced a release date for the film, has more than 93 million members in more than 190 countries and streams more than 125 million hours of movies and television shows daily, including original films, series, and documentaries.

"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."

Before his death, Welles was considered one of the most respected filmmakers in cinema history, wrote Netflix. He won an Academy Award for co-writing the film "Citizen Kane." His work included the 1938 radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds," "Julius Caesar," "The Magnificent Amberson," and "Touch of Evil."

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The rights to Orson Welles' unfinished final film have been acquired by Netflix, which will finance its completion, according to Variety. And the film's original director is still around to consult on its editing.
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2017-38-15
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 07:38 AM
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