It would be nice if it were a nicer, sweeter world, but it's not. The argument that Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola owed something to Welles in a financial way has always seemed bogus to me. Of course, they were influenced by him aesthetically, perhaps, and he was the symbol of the independently-minded director who got screwed by Hollywood, etc., (along with von Stoheim) but I don't believe they owed him anything. Welles himself said that the new Hollywood was much more difficult for him to work in than the old Hollywood. And Spielberg and Lucas are famous for being successful box-office guys: they pander to the middle-brow, and do so brilliantly. (Actually, I don't think they pander: they are middle-brow.) They don't throw money away, unless by accident. Spielberg bought the Rosebud sled, so Kane must have been important to him, but he didn't offer to finance a Welles picture. Why? Well, we'd have to ask him as opposed to always supposing he's a mean-spirited guy. But I'll hazard a guess: he thought that a Welles project was doomed to lose money, and he decided to not lose money. Can we really fault him for that? Also, I think tempermentally Kurosawa was, ironically, closer to the young turks than was Welles: the latter was much more experimental, and unpredictable in that he never made the same picture twice. And let's not forget: Welles could be a very imposing and difficult guy: it's often been said he was his own worst enemy in dealing with investors. He often treated the suits like garbage (even if they were friends like Louis Dolivet, who produced "Around the World with Orson Welles" and "Mr. Arkadin", and ended up suing Welles over unprofessional behaviour and drunkeness on-set). Chuck Heston said Welles never understood the idea that if you treat the money-men badly, you don't get to make pictures.
Lamont: I don't count "Immortal" as a feature because it was briefly in theatres in Europe as half of a double-bill along with a Reichenbach documentary on Welles, and then it went straight to French TV: it was intended as part of a Dinesen trilogy which Welles didn't complete, and it's just an hour long. As for "Fake", to me it's not a feature but a documentary, according to this definition: "Full length, fictional films (not documentaries or shorts), generally for theatrical release." For me, Chimes was at Cannes, but "Immortal" and "Fake" just dissappeared: most people never heard of them at the time of their releases.
So for me, "Chimes" is the last Welles feature completed, and in 1982, when he was searching for funding for BBR, "Chimes" would be the last picture possible investors would know about, unless they knew that "Wind" was left unfinished, as was "The Deep" and "Don Quixote" and "It's All True", and...
Let's be realistic here: would you invest millions in a film by a guy who was very ill, had a terrible reputation for being difficult, and was famous for not finishing pictures, and always lost money?
As a fan, I would; as a businessman, I wouldn't. The surprising thing is that Welles came as close as he did with BBR, Cradle and Lear. It's a heartbreak, for sure, but it always amazes me that Welles completed as many films as he did in this rough and tumble world. He did meet a few idealists along the way, though he probably left them bitter realists.