Netflix Swoops in to Finance the Completion of Orson Welles’ Final Film

Orson Welles - F for Fake
The streaming behemoth will distribute Welles’ ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ after editing has been completed based on the director’s notes.

Almost 2,900 backers stepped up to fund an Indiegogo campaign launched in May 2015 to complete Orson Welles’ final film, The Other Side of the Wind. Although the campaign raised over $400,000, that amount fell well short of the campaign’s revised goal of $1 million (down from the original $2 million). Even with producers Frank Marshall and Peter Bogdonovich on board, the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t able to get the film across the finish line.

Since the campaign, Marshall, Bogdonovich and fellow producer Filip Jan Rymsza have been relatively quiet about the project, although rumors started almost a year ago that Netflix was circling the film with the possibility of also creating a full-length documentary about the making of the film.

Now, Netflix has officially announced that the company has picked up the rights to The Other Side of the Wind, and will provide financing to complete the edit. Marshall served as line producer on the film in the 1970s, and Bogdonovich appears in the film, so these two filmmakers have personal stakes to finish this film beyond their admiration for Welles.

“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, in a statement released by the company. “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.”

Marshall is a little beside himself with the realization of this news. “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 in the statement.

Film negatives have been shipped from Paris to Los Angeles for scanning, and editing will adhere to notes that Welles left behind in several notebooks. Not surprisingly, Netflix has not announced a release date, so stay tuned to find out when you can see Welles’ last film.