Orson Welles' unfinished film could be released in 2015

Actor and director Orson Welles welcomes the audience and opens the Cesar Awards ceremony on  Feb. 27, 1982, in Paris, France.


Cinephiles are rejoicing over a new film from legendary auteur Orson Welles, nearly 30 years after his death.

Los Angeles production company Royal Road Entertainment has acquired the rights to the "Citizen Kane" director's unreleased 1970s drama "The Other Side of the Wind," according to the New York Times. Plans are underway for the film to be screened in time for what have been Welles' 100th birthday -- May 6, 2015.

Conceived as a satirical look at Hollywood, "The Other Side of the Wind" stars the late John Huston (himself a famous director in his own right) as an aging filmmaker looking for a cinematic comeback. Additional cast members include Peter Bogdanovich (another real-life director) and Susan Strasberg, who plays a character said to be modeled after noted movie reviewer Pauline Kael -- a prominent critic of Welles' works.

Welles first got his start in the entertainment industry as a stage actor, before quickly transitioning to radio plays.

He was just 23 when he terrified half of America with his adaptation of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," which aired on CBS Radio. Many listeners thought they were hearing actual reports of an alien invasion while tuning in to Welles' radio play.

In 1942, Welles released his magnum opus, "Citizen Kane," considered by many cinema scholars to be the greatest film ever made. His other highly-acclaimed films include 1942's "The Magnificent Amersons" and 1958's "Touch of Evil."

Welles struggled with obesity and other health ailments in his later years, although he continued to work in front of and behind the camera up until his death from a heart attack in 1985. Welles left behind several uncompleted projects, including "The Other Side of the Wind."

The film was shot over the course of an unusually long period, from 1970-1976, and was financed by the brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran. Budgetary setbacks and legal issues forced the project to be scrapped during the post-production editing process after filming had already been completed. Short segments of the film have since been released over the years, most notably in the 1995 documentary "Orson Welles: The One Man Band."

Josh Karp is currently penning a book about the making of "The Other Side of the Wind," titled "Orson Welles' Last Movie," set for release in May 2015 -- also coinciding with what would have been the director's 100th birthday.

In 2013, Welles' first feature -- a silent film he produced called "Too Much Johnson" -- was restored and screened to audiences for the first time in decades.

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.