EXCLUSIVE: In a preemptive move made as rumors of harassment allegations swirl around Andrew Duncan, June Pictures president and former ICM Partners agent Alex Saks tonight sealed plans to buy Duncan out of the company. June Pictures has fast come out of the gate as a top producer/financier of tastemaker films, including the awards season contending Sean Baker-directed The Florida Project. June Pictures is also behind Book Club, the Bill Holderman-directed ensemble that stars Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Keaton, Alicia Silverstone, Andy Garcia and Candice Bergen. That film was recently acquired by Paramount. The company also made the Cory Finley-directed Thoroughbred, which Focus acquired out of Sundance, and which stars Ana-Taylor Joy, Olivia Cooke and Anton Yelchin, and the Alethea Jones-directed Fun Mom Dinner, which Netflix and eOne bought out of Sundance.
Duncan has not commented on the situation, but Saks confirmed the buyout and issued the following statement:
“In light of allegations of misconduct against our investor Andrew Duncan, I am assuming sole ownership and leadership of June Pictures. June Pictures is committed to a respectful work environment dedicated to producing quality films. We will continue our projects already in production and development.”
More to come on this. It becomes the second preemptive exit of a major indie movie figure today as the cloud of sexual harassment continues to engulf Hollywood. Earlier today, director/producer Morgan Spurlock stepped down from Warrior Poets after writing an essay on his own misbehavior.