A24 Co-Founder John Hodges Exits as Sale Rumors Plague Indie Studio Behind “Moonlight,” “Lady Bird”

John Hodges A24

A24 co-founder is exiting the indie company to “focus on future opportunities,” he and the company jointly announced on Monday.

Hodges had been an integral part of the studio since its inception in 2012, along with co-founders David Fenkel and Daniel Katz. No additional changes in management will be made, said A24, which will continue to develop and produce a growing slate of content across film and television.

“John has been a trusted partner who helped conceive A24 and for that we will always be grateful. Since then his contributions to growing the company have been invaluable and we can’t wait to see what he does next,” said A24 in a statement.

“I am incredibly proud of the company we created and of the amazing team at A24 that has been integral to its success. Over the past six years I have been fortunate to work with a diverse group of talented storytellers across film and TV and look forward to continuing those collaborations in my future endeavors,” added Hodges.

While there is speculation in the trades that A24 may be on the block, I get the impression that sale rumors are just that — rumors. The company may be a lovely acquisition target for a buyer seeking an arthouse pipeline, but A24 is still building itself as a brand — one that is synonymous with quality. Rather than focusing on acquisitions, as was its early strategy, A24 is now producing its own movies, as well as its own podcast. This is a growing company, not a struggling one.

If I had to guess, I’d wager that Hodges was simply ready to move on after reaching the top of the mountain — winning Best Picture for Moonlight. That Oscar win came within five years of A24’s launch, but so did Open Road’s win for Spotlight, and now that company is part of the larger entity Global Road. So I suppose the question now surrounding A24 is what Fenkel and Katz plan to make of it. Surely they’ve learned by now that there’s a ceiling for arthouse films these days. A24’s biggest success, Lady Bird, grossed $49 million domestically, so can that ceiling support the duo’s ambitions, or will a larger distributor make them an offer they can’t refuse?

So long as A24 continues to operate independently and make edgy films from newcomers and established veterans alike, I’ll be a happy moviegoer. Because even the company’s failures are interesting. We wish Hodges the best of luck with his next endeavor, since the indie landscape has certainly benefited from his contributions.

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Still quiet here.sas

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