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New documentary to focus on Orson Welles’ final years

Orson Welles on the set of F For Fake, 1973 (Photo: Apic/Getty Images)

Orson Welles has one of the most dramatic career arcs in Hollywood history: Rocketing to cinematic history at the age of 25 with Citizen Kane in 1941, only to end his complicated Hollywood career by doing voiceover work for commercials, Magnum, P.I., and an animated Transformers movie. Welles’ final years have always been a bit of a mystery: His final feature The Other Side Of The Wind, particularly, has remained unfinished for decades and has been the source of much speculation.

Now, it appears that the final 15 years of Welles’ life will get an overdue documentary treatment, helmed by director Morgan Neville, who won the Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Oscars with 20 Feet From Stardom. Neville told Deadline, “The Other Side Of The Wind has long been a ghostly legend in cinema history, but the story behind it is equally fascinating. I’m excited to be able to tell the incredible story behind this film and to explore what made Welles such an enduring figure.”


Neville’s documentary will explore the behind-the-scenes efforts of The Other Side Of The Wind, but the film itself is also getting a 2017 update. Netflix recently reported that it has obtained the global rights to the film and is set on finishing it, aided by production manager Frank Marshall and cast member Peter Bogdanovich. The theme of the film, which Welles began in 1970, is “a Hollywood satire on the last days of a great filmmaker struggling for a comeback.”

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