Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind, his unfinished final project about an aging director, is finally on track for a release. The film was shot between 1969 and 1976, and stars John Huston as J.J. Jake Hannaford, while Peter Bogdanovich plays a young director.
According to the New York Times, Royal Road Entertainment has said that it is set to buy the rights from the current holders. The plan is for the film to be ready to be screened by May 6, on what would have been Welles’s 100th birthday. The release of the film is a long time coming: As the Times reported, this is just the “latest event in a saga marked by legal squabbles, clashing egos, the spiriting away of a working print and, briefly, the disappearance and recovery of the reels last summer after a storage company went bankrupt.” Welles, in part, financed the movie with an investment from the brother-in-law of the shah of Iran.
Bogdanovich will be integral to finishing the film, according to the Times. “We will set up a cutting room and Peter Bogdanovich and I will assemble the film,” The Other Side of the Wind line producer Frank Marshall said. “We have notes from Orson Welles. We have scenes that weren’t quite finished, and we need to add music. We will get it done. The good news is that it won’t take so long because of all of the technology today.”
A book by Josh Karp on the making of the film titled Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind is due out in May. “This film is art imitating life and life imitating art,” Karp told the Times. “It’s become so mythical because of what happened with all the failures to finish it and the players involved.”