Although some celebrities from Hollywood’s Golden Age are still alive (like Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland), most of them left us so long ago that it’s mindboggling to imagine anyone in Hollywood could be working on a new movie from one of them now. Yet somehow, that’s exactly what happened this week for Citizen Kane director and star Orson Welles. And what company could possibly have the ambition and influence to get something like this done? Why, it’s wunderkind company Netflix, of course, which has announced that they will finish and distribute Welles’ great unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind. Welles worked on the mockumentary project from 1970 to 1976 with directors like John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich contributing to the film, which Wikipedia describes as “a satire of both the passing of Classic Hollywood and the avant-garde filmmakers of the New Hollywood of the 1970s.” Welles was repeatedly met with obstacles in trying to finish The Other Side of the Wind, and only 45 minutes of the film was completed. John Huston starred as a director based on Ernest Hemingway, but Huston also died in 1987, so obviously Netflix and the filmmakers it works with will have to figure out another way to finish the film. If an unfinished Orson Welles movie was Netflix’s only news, this would still be a good week for them, but the streaming giant was on a tear this week. First off, we should note that Netflix now has a new executive in charge of film production, with an eye toward taking an “aggressive” approach to their competition with the other more traditional movie studios. To demonstrate exactly how aggressive Netflix is right now, let’s tick off the other movies they made the news with this week: Tom Hardy is going to star in a Netflix movie called War Party, based on a true story about the Navy SEALs, directed by Andrew Dominik and produced by Ridley Scott. Molly Shannon, Kathryn Hahn, and Paul Giamatti will star in the Netflix comedy Private Life, about a couple struggling with fertility issues. Amy Ryan and Steve Carell have their own Netflix drama in the works called Beautiful Boy, about a teenager’s addiction to meth, and how it impacts his family. And oh, yeah, director Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond, Fast Five) is going to make a movie called The Stand Off, about a struggle between the police and the Black Panthers. We almost could have given you an entire Weekly Ketchup using only movies to be produced and distributed by Netflix.
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