Todd Baesen and I saw the Munich Film Museum rough cut of THE DEEP, several years ago in San Francisco. The story was quite coherent, with few holes, but most of the sound track was missing, and at that time, some doubt was expressed whether or not certain elements of the track could be found or restored. The film held a nice shape, beginning with the death of a child, following on to the father (Michael Bryant) taking his wife (Oja Kodar) sailing in the Adriatic on a chartered yacht to heal her grief. Laurence Harvey, the villain, is taken on board from an abandoned schooner, and the plot kicks up into high gear when Bryant finds evidence aboard the derelict of crime on the high seas; at the same moment, Harvey takes off with Bryant's wife. A sea chase ensues. Orson Welles and Jeanne Moreau are involved as disreputable "secret sharers," Welles particularly in the guise of a humorous counter-villain.
The film, as it stood, suggested to me the makings of seafaring thriller, with Michael Bryant, sadly, standing out in the kind of role which made Sam Neill a star in DEAD CALM, essaying the same role. Oja Kodar is fetching in a bikini, and seems competent in her part. Welles appears to be in his Long John Silver mode. And one can imagine that with appropriate music, some of the magic of THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI's sailing sequences could be elicited.
Though these things are hard to judge for people who are not real pros, I thought that THE DEEP might make an enjoyable, not necessarily groundbreaking seafaring thriller. The amount of time elapsed should lessen comparisons between Welles' THE DEEP and Phillip Noyce's DEAD CALM, which starred both Neill and Nicole Kidman. Strangely, one of the shots which our host pointed out was missing from his collected footage was a climactic explosion on the water. In that fact, THE DEEP shares a similar omission with THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.
I might add that my inclination is to agree with you, Nightman, that the purpose of Kenneth Sidle's releasing this information about a proposed deal for THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND may have been to shake the tree. If so, as you observe, he did it successfully. Unfortunately, as Nepenthe observes, Wellesnet took the extreme position that The Observer, the reporter, and Mr. Sidle were engaged in "a hoax." Sidle's firm, after all, is a large, successful International operation, currently taking on the Chinese Government about intellectual property rights. They have no need to perpetrate hoaxes as such.
Time will tell.