A hot and heavy rumor that A24 will be acquired by Apple is being shot down and called untrue by insiders. Word around town is that Apple wants to make an acquisition of the indie film distributor as the digital giant’s entry portal into the film business. The rumor caught fire after this week’s exit of John Hodges, who founded the company in 2012 with David Fenkel and Daniel Katz. I’m told there have been overtures made by others toward the indie company, but that Apple discussions so far appear to only be for partnerships on projects. The rumored interest in A24 is understandable. The company has quickly distinguished itself as a tasteful and effective advocate for prestige films. A24 has made smart pickups including Ex Machina, and the distributor has landed three Best Picture candidates in the past five years. The A24 release Moonlight won Best Picture last year.
The distributor is coming off a high water mark season, after Lady Bird, The Florida Project and The Disaster Artist all were in the thick of the awards season mix. Insiders said that A24 intends to stay independent and continue a growth curve that includes more home grown productions. Of course, if a player like Apple makes them an offer they cannot refuse, who knows?